Friday, February 8, 2019 7:00 PM FREE
(Hubertus Siegert, 2001, Germany, DCP, 88 min.)
In German with English subtitles
After Germany’s reunification and the decision to relocate the country’s capital to Berlin in 1990, the city faced one of the most sweeping architectural transformations in Western European history. Renowned urban planners and architects were now challenged to design a new, future-oriented city, while also honoring a past almost erased during and after World War II. Using archival and original footage, Hubertus Siegert presents both a documentary on this particular historical process, as well as a critical and poetic meditation on history itself. Berlin’s famous experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten deliver an ambient and captivating industrial soundtrack.
Introduced by Ingrid Zeller, Professor in the German Department at Northwestern University
FREE AND OPEN TO ALL
Part of the series
Migrating Berlin: Multinational Perspectives on Germany’s Years of Reunification
Curated by Northwestern University doctoral candidates Evelyn Kreutzer and Esra Cimencioglu, the Block Museum’s film series Migrating Berlin arrives on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, promising to shed new light on this crucial moment in European history. The fall of the wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany a year later, often considered markers of the end of the Cold War, represent major ruptures in Germany’s post-war history. As a site of division, trauma, and political and military struggle, Berlin holds a particular fascination, with the symbol of the wall haunting the city long after its collapse and architectural transformation. However, in the rich history of representations of the divided city, Cold War narratives focused on East-West German tensions have remained dominant, often obscuring the fate of already underrepresented demographics and built environments beyond the wall itself. Integrating multinational and immigrant perspectives on the division and reunification of Germany into these established East/West narratives, the film series Migrating Berlin shines a new light on this period of transition. The five films in this series depict the alienation and socio-economic struggle of Germany’s/Berlin’s migrant population and the radical reconstruction of the city after the fall of the wall. Stylistically diverse documentaries like Duvarlar-Mauern-Walls (2000) and Bartek Konopka’s Oscar-nominated Rabbit à la Berlin (2009) explore fascinating ‘micro-histories,’ such as the rise of right-wing violence against Turkish immigrants in the Berlin neighborhood Kreuzberg after 1989 and the fate of Berlin’s wild rabbit population in the dead zone of the Wall.
Promotional support provided by the Goethe-Institut Chicago