We mourn the loss of Birgit Hein. She was our guest at the Berlinale Forum in the early 1970s already with the trailblazing experimental films she made together with Wilhelm Hein and later screened her own features there on several occasions, including DIE UNHEIMLICHEN FRAUEN (1991) and BABY I WILL MAKE YOU SWEAT (1994). Her films led to lively discussions and left a lasting impression on the history of feminist cinema as well as the Arsenal distribution wing.
Exactly 20 years ago, Arsenal presented the first retrospective dedicated to her work, which was entitled “So weit, so verdächtig. Birgit Heins filmische Biografie”. A second one was held online at arsenal 3 in 2021 during the lockdown. In 2009, Birgit Hein participated in the festival LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in a Rented World curated by Susanne Sachsse, Marc Siegel and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus. Due to her early acquaintance with Jack Smith, she was able to contribute the film she had made with him in 1974 as well as numerous photos and memories. In the countless conversations we had with Birgit Hein, we always learnt something new from her. Her various activities with Wilhelm Hein, including at XScreen in Köln, her numerous publications on experimental film and feminist cinema, and her teaching position at the HBK Braunschweig, which produced generations of experimental filmmakers, will never be forgotten. The photo is taken from the work Stills 1973, 4 Fototafeln von W+B Hein, which was exhibited at the 2009 Forum Expanded. We miss her greatly and send our condolences to her friends and family, particularly her daughter Nina.