Films Weimar Republic to Today
As from the second half of the 19th century, when Berlin rose to a metropolis and became the political, economic and scientific capital of the newly founded German Empire, it has experienced frequent and radical changes in parallel with key German developments. Thus, recent German history can be analysed like a geological stratum in Berlin’s texture. From films directed mostly in Berlin and with a Berlin plot like “Kuhle Wampe”, “Die Mörder sind unter uns”, “Eins, zwei, drei”, up to „Good-by Lenin“, and „Das Leben der Anderen“, we will carry out a chronological survey of the city as from the Weimar Republic, the Nazi era, the post-war period, the divided city, the fall of the wall and reunification. The course falls into two parts: the first part will provide background information on recent German and Berlin history, the second part will discuss the films around the following main issues: contending notions of national identity, poverty, violence and tensions, political legitimacy, memory.
1) Benjamin, Walter: Berliner Kindheit um neunzehnhundert. Publisher: Suhrkamp
2) Kästner, Erich: Emil und die Detektive. Publisher: Dressler
3) Kracauer, Siegfried: Strassen in Berlin und anderswo. Publisher: Suhrkamp