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One notable rediscovery is the 1994 documentary by Serap Berrakkarasu EKMEK PARASI – GELD FÜR’S BROT (Money for Bread, 100 min). The camerawork was directed by Gisela Tuchtenhagen. The film centers on the piecework of Turkish “Gastarbeiterinnen” (“guest workers”) in a fish factory in Lübeck, working on the assembly lines alongside women from the state of Mecklenburg, who were commuting to Lübeck after reunification because they could not find any other work. It is an important testament to the socio-political reality of non-privileged women at the time, for “if these jobs were done by men, machines would have been invented long ago to replace them,” wrote Linde Fröhlich in the catalog of the Lübeck Nordic Film Days in 1994, where the film had its premiere.

An earlier production of Serap Berrakkarasu’s has also been digitally restored, TÖCHTER ZWEIER WELTEN (Daughters of Two Worlds, BRD 1990, 60 min), also with participation by Gisela Tuchtenhagen. Two women, a mother and her daughter, one migrated to Germany from Turkey, the other having grown up in Germany, speak about their lives. Both of them describe living between two cultures as an inner dichotomy: “Basically, you don’t know where you belong.” In a parallel sequence, the film compacts the two women’s differing views of life into a dialog between mother and daughter that never actually took place.

In addition, the autobiographical documentary by Angelika Levi MEIN LEBEN TEIL 2 (My Life Part 2, Germany/Chile 2003, 93 min) has been digitally restored: a clever and uncompromising examination of the history of her own family, a microhistory that opens up a completely new perspective on traditional historiography. A film about the German condition, experiences of migration and trauma, told from the perspective of the second generation after the Shoah: “My mother collated and archived her own life. I inherited it and made it into a film that is primarily about perception, my legacy and addressing history. My film is an attempt to tell what was told and not told in my family, using objects, photos, audio and video material. The film is about trauma and at the same time about how history can be produced, archived, brought into conversations and categorised both at the macro- and micro-level, and how I continued to collect so that I could tell a story.” (Angelika Levi)

Cynthia Beatt’s short film BÖSE ZU SEIN IST AUCH EIN BEWEIS VON GEFÜHL (Fury is a Feeling Too, BRD 1983, 5 min) with Heinz Emigholz is a personal and cathartic confrontation with her position as a foreigner in Berlin, a city burdened by the weight of its history, during the 1970s and ‘80s, posing questions and provoking reflections on a range of issues related to language, culture, politics, and history. Filmed in the area around Potsdamer Platz, the torn-up area right next to the Wall where post- war buildings grew out of the bomb craters, the film laments the loss of an architectural space whose destruction also meant the disappearance of a cultural context. “A sort of cranky, witty, intellectually astute rendition of a Frommer’s Guide replete with architectural treats and warnings about the unwieldy temperaments of the natives.” (Barbara Kruger, Art Forum)

Ulrike Ottinger’s fascinating cultural study of PRATER (Germany/Austria 2007) is also now available as a DCP for cinema screenings. The life of the oldest amusement park in the world is reflected in the parallel technical and media developments of filmmaking – kaleidoscopically visualized by way of flying camera movements set to texts by Elfriede Jelinek, Josef von Sternberg, Erich Kästner, and Elias Canetti. The history of Vienna’s Prater theme park and the work of Ulrike Ottinger have something in common: the world becomes a stage and the stage the world. She reports on show booths and illusion machines, but in doing so also says something about her films. Against the backdrop of dreams of travel and encyclopedic curiosity, but also colonialist imagination, Prater brings the world into its hall of mirrors.

Funded by:

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