This November marks 30 years since the opening of the Berlin Wall, which saw German unification and the subsequent creation of a new European and global order. Focusing on life in the divided and re-unified city of Berlin, this specially curated mini season celebrates the falling of the Wall through women’s films made in the immediate aftermath of the seismic events of 1989.

 

Our screening of Margarethe von Trotta’s The Promise (1994) links with our recent Margarethe von Trotta season, which spotlighted Germany’s leading feminist film director. The Promise chronicles the lives of five East Berlin youngsters from their dramatic escape to West Berlin after the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to its fall in 1989, when they become once again reunified with their families and lovers. Pia Frankenberg’s Never Sleep Again (1992) follows three women friends on their magical odyssey through post-unification Berlin. The dilapidated sites of the former Cold War frontier city, still scarred by World War II, become a place for sheer endless personal experimentation where the women begin to reconfigure their lives and loves. Frankenberg’s impressionistic portrait of three women in the city reflects on the state of the newly unified Germany, where for a moment all possibilities seemed radically open.


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