april 2020, arsenal cinema

arsenal 3 – week 3

Joint Action

“…we explored the possibilities of gesture, stance and facial movement in hundreds of photo sessions, using everything in the apartment as draperies and props” (Ulrike Ottinger on working with Tabea Blumenschein)

Cinema is collaborative work. The possibilities of changing the system via joint action are investigated by Minze Tummescheit and Arne Hector in their interview film IN ARBEIT (2012) and by Sandra Schäfer and Elfe Brandenburger in PASSING THE RAINBOW, which was shot in Kabul in 2007. Annika Larsson’s BLIND (2011) and Agnieszka Brzezanska's BLUE MOVIE (2007) are about shared body language and sensorial perception. The films THE RIGHT (2015) by Assaf Gruber and DIE AUSSTELLUNG (2005) by Juliane Zelwies examine relationship structures in the art world. A CRIME AGAINST ART (2007) by Hila Peleg and KILLER.BERLIN.DOC (1999) by Jörg Heitmann und Bettina Ellerkamp attempt to do the same by having real figures from the world of art and culture play themselves, in the former in a courtroom show, in the latter by playing a crime game.

Two films are from this year’s Forum Expanded program: In LETTER TO A FRIEND (2019), Emily Jacir asks research agency Forensic Architecture to open an investigation before anything has actually happened. Caitlin Berrigan’s IMAGINARY EXPLOSIONS (2019) follows a group of trans-feminist scholars who want to fulfil the Earth’s desire to have all volcanoes erupt at the same time. We’re contrasting the-se new works with two historical films digitally restored by Arsenal: In RAMDENIME INTERVIU PIRAD SAKITKHEBZE (Some Interviews on Personal Matters, USSR/Georgia 1978), Lana Gogoberidze gives an account of the intertwining of the private and the political, while in the short films by Ibrahim Shaddad, member of the Sudanese Film Group, the question of joint action becomes a question of life and death.

Last, but not least, we are particularly happy to be able to present Ulrike Ottinger’s Berlin trilogy over the next three weeks. We’re starting with BILDNIS EINER TRINKERIN (Ticket of No Return, 1979) and are thus commemorating actress and artist Tabea Blumenschein, who died recently.

march 2020, arsenal cinema

arsenal 3 - week 2

The first week was a great success! Not only did many people make use of our digital program, but we also hosted very interesting discussions between filmmakers and audience members. We are aware that our online presence is not yet perfect, but we are working on it and learning as we go along.

But it goes without saying that we can’t wait to have you back in person at Arsenal 1 and 2 and we’re constantly thinking about the future about which we have major concerns. In order to continue to show online films for free and also pay filmmakers for the licenses if would be great if you could donate to Arsenal

Another possibility to support us is to become members of Arsenal!

march 2020, arsenal cinema

Arsenal 3 Open To All

On Friday, March 13th, we suspended all events at Arsenal 1 + 2 until April 19th, cutting short both our anniversary program for the 50th Berlinale Forum and the Forum Expanded exhibition, to combat the further spread of the Coronavirus.

Suddenly, “Part of the Problem”, the motto of this year’s Forum Expanded, had become self-explanatory to a far greater degree than we’d hoped: as event organizers, we are always part of what we are engaged with, not least because of our unique approach. It’s not just about having a stance on films, but also one on the world. The places where we negotiate this, the cinema auditorium and the exhibition space, may no longer be accessible for the moment, but the filmmakers, artists, films, audiences and Arsenal itself are all still there, at least the institution and its staff. And we’re still working, also to remodel the cinema into a social space.

Yet without the protection of three walls and a screen, there’s a problem: anyone can see the film, which not everyone necessarily agrees with. That’s why we got in touch with the filmmakers and artists whose films form part of our distribution range. We were totally overwhelmed by their reaction: without any hesitation, they immediately made enough films available for online viewing to enable us to put together a program for the next few weeks. And not just that: everyone who agreed to take part also made an unconditional expression of solidarity. We need the filmmakers but they also need us. arsenal 3 is therefore even more what cinema always actually is: a collaborative project.


march 2020, edition

New DVDs: "Shaihu Umar" and Films by the Sudanese Film Group

In March two new DVDs will be released in cooperation with Filmgalerie 451 in the Arsenal edition. SHAIHU UMAR by Adamu Halilu (Nigeria 1976) was long considered lost. The film is based on the story of the same name by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria. As part of the cooperation between the Arsenal and the Nigerian Film Cooperation, negatives and film prints were rediscovered and restored in the national film archive in Jos.

In 1989, the Sudanese Film Group was founded with the aim of being involved in all aspects of film production, screening and teaching, and to share the passion of the Sudanese for cinema. However, the coup in the same year put an end to all cultural endeavours. The SFG was only able to register again in 2005. The DVD contains eight short and medium-length films by directors Suliman Elnour, Eltayeb Mahdi and Ibrahim Shaddad from 1964 to 1989.

arsenal cinema: Forum 50

07:30 pm Kino 2


*Tropici Tropen Gianni Amico Italien 1968
35 mm port. OmU 87 min

arsenal cinema: Black Light

08:00 pm Cinema 1

Odds Against Tomorrow

Odds Against Tomorrow Robert Wise USA 1959
With Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley
35 mm OV 93 min