Monday, April 12, 2010

German Film Festival, April 22-24

German Cinema from the East Makes Its Mark in Indiana 20 Years after Unification

On April 22-25, 2010, Indiana University-Bloomington will host an international symposium and film festival entitled Making History
ReVisible: East German Cinema after Unification.

This event is the grand finale of a 4-month teaching, outreach, and research initiative called The Indiana University DEFA Project:
Remembering 1989-90 through East German Films of the Transition, which began in January. Faculty, university students of all levels, and high school students from across the state have been rediscovering the last films of the East German DEFA Film Studios (1946-1992), features made in the tumultuous period of political, social, and cultural upheavel surrounding the end of the Cold War. Indiana University students have run the WENDE FLICKS series, a traveling retrospective from The DEFA Film Library, throughout the semester and have steadily drawn audiences between 100-200 for these films that were largely neglected by East and West German audiences at the time of their release.

Dialogue between students, professors, and community members of all generations has ensued as Bloomington, a Midwestern cultural mecca, has encountered the films of Ulrich Weiss, Dieter Schumann, Helke Misselwitz, Peter Welz, Heiner Carow, and others with great curiosity and openness.

The symposium and film festival will feature panels and films that chart the development of an (East) German cinema after the fall of the Wall and also ask larger questions about the integration of the past into the archives of the future--through cultural politics, education, the academy, and current film industrial practice. Bringing together the East's most prolific screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase (the recipient of the Berlin Film Festival's 2010 Honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement), filmmaker Peter Kahane, and production duo Katrin Schloesser and Frank Loeprich of the critically successful Oe- Filmproduktion with cultural politicians Thomas Krueger (President of the Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung) and Helmut Morsbach (Managing Director of the DEFA Foundation), film journalist Knut Elstermann (RadioEins), and a number of top U.S. scholars of German cinema, the event will combine theory and praxis.

Three German films will also have their Indiana premiere: Summer in Berlin (Sommer vorm Balkon, 2005), Whiskey with Vodka (Whisky mit Wodka, 2009), and You Are Not Alone (Du bist nicht allein, 2007), which will have its U.S. premiere in Bloomington. Audiences will also have the chance to see Peter Kahane's The Architects (Die Architekten,
1990) and the GDR cult film Solo Sunny (1980). Earlier in the week, on April 18, the campus will welcome American filmmaker and video artist Amie Siegel with her filmic essay on memories of East Germany, DDR/DDR (2008). Filmmakers will be on hand for Q & A after each film.

A parallel high school symposium will introduce the next generation to university study through German history and cinema. All this enthusiasm for German culture and history comes at a time when Indiana public school systems are threatening to cut their laguage and culture programs.

For more information about this unique event, please see the following


Film Schedule

To order advance tickets for the films, contact:

Prof. Dr. Brigitta Wagner

2010 DEFA Project Director
Assistant Professor
Germanic Studies/Cinema
Communication and Culture/Film Studies
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Ballantine Hall 644
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Indiana University DEFA Project:

Germanic Studies:
Buskirk-Chumley Theater:
German Consulate:,archiveCtx=2010460.html
IU News Room:
Herald Times:

Facebook: IU DEFA Project
Twitter: IUDEFA

DEFA Foundation (Berlin); Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany (Chicago); DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service; Filmland Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Schwerin); German Films (Munich); DEFA Film Library (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities: New Perspectives; WEST European Studies; College Arts and Humanities Institute; Office of the Vice President of International Affairs; Indiana University Libraries; Germanic Studies; Institute of German Studies; Cultural Studies; Communication and Culture; International Studies; Gender Studies; Russian and East European Institute; Office of Service-Learning & The Kelley School of Business (Marketing); Buskirk-Chumley Theater (Bloomington); FARM Restaurant (Bloomington); Ryder Magazine (Bloomington), Finch's Brasserie (Bloomington).