Event

lumbung Film: GDR International #3

Location: Gloria-Kino

Languages: English, German

Directions

This event is part of Meydan #2: next to the lumbung Film program, it includes a music program, a flea market, conversations, workshops, food and drinks.

lumbung Film: GDR International #3

Responding to the remarkable presence of archives as residues of parallel histories and networks of solidarity at documenta fifteen, GDR INTERNATIONAL reflects on how the internationalist agenda of Socialist East Germany (German Democratic Republic) affected the country’s film production and film politics.

5.15 pm: Oyoyo

dir. Chetna Vora, GDR 1980, 45 min, DCP, German with English subtitles

Conversations with foreign students at the University for Economics in East Berlin, filmed in a student residence whose corridors are pervaded by the Guinean liberation song the film borrows its title from. Filmed by her partner, Lars Barthel, Chetna Vora´s encounters with students from Chile, Cuba, the People’s Republic of Mongolia, Ethiopia and Guinea-Bissau move effortlessly between everyday chores, moments of silence, joy, nostalgia, and longer conversations about personal hopes and ambitions. Made possible in a tangible atmosphere of mutual trust, the film conveys insights into the everyday life of an “international community” aware of its temporary status. Almost no reference is made to Berlin or the GDR, and except for the opening and closing shots, the entire film is set indoors.

Guest: Cornelia Klauß

Discussion in German with English translation

7 pm: Reading & Film

In an unpublished transcript from 1993, filmmaker Tamara Trampe and film professor Christiane Mückenberger, two influential protagonists in GDR film in the 1980s, talk about their memories of Chetna Vora and the circumstances that led to the confiscation and suppression of her diploma film, Frauen in Berlin (Women in Berlin), by the Babelsberg film school. Excerpts from the conversation are read by film scholar Cornelia Klauß, herself an alumni of the same school, and co-editor of Sie: Regisseurinnen der DEFA und ihre Filme, a comprehensive reader on the work of female directors within GDR state film production.

Reading in German with English translation.

Frauen in Berlin (aka Schattenbilder) (Women in Berlin (aka Shadow Images))

dir. Chetna Vora, GDR 1982, 139 min, DCP, German with English subtitles

Conversations with women of different ages and various walks of life, almost entirely filmed in their private homes in Berlin. Their testimonies focus on gender relations and the realities of everyday life in a society whose utopian promises are wearing off, but have not entirely ceased to inspire personal choices and ambitions. The film was meant to be Chetna Vora’s graduation piece from the East German state film school in Potsdam-Babelsberg. After a preview screening of the two-hour rough cut for co-students and teachers, the school first demanded the film to be cut to the 30 min TV standard, and after Chetna Vora’s refusal not only stopped its finalization but apparently destroyed the entire source material. The form in which the film has survived, a pirated video copy obtained by Vora herself in a cloak-and-dagger operation, has made Frauen in Berlin a restless reminder of not only one contradiction behind the GDR’s benevolent and progressive facade.

Guest: Cornelia Klauß

Discussion in German with English translation

lumbung Film: GDR International is curated by Tobias Hering.

Tobias Hering is a freelance curator living in Berlin and Mecklenburg, Germany. His work focuses on thematic film programs that deal with questions of image politics and the role of archives. Recent projects include Tell It to the Stones, an exhibition, program series, and retrospective on the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub at the Akademie der Künste Berlin (2017, together with Annett Busch), The gatekeepers exist to be overthrown, a three-part homage to New York film curator Amos Vogel at the Arsenal cinema in Berlin (2021–2022), and several program series on migrant film work in East and West Germany for the Zeughauskino in Berlin, the Film Museum in Frankfurt, and the Short Film Festival in Hamburg, among others. Since 2011, Tobias Hering has been involved in the programming of the Kassel Dokfest. At the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, he is head of the archive-based section re-selected. He is co-editor of several anthologies, most recently Tell It to the Stones: Encounters with the Films of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub (Sternberg Press, 2021, together with Annett Busch).

Details

Introduction: Tobias Hering
Discussion in German with English translation

Directions

Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 3, 34117 Kassel

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Infos

Location: Gloria-Kino

Languages: English, German

Categories

Meydan screening

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