German Film of the Week: Sonnenallee


Less than 10 years after the East German state ceased to exist, we started to miss it. Ostalgie, a nostalgia for the East and for everyday life under Socialism, is a much discussed phenomenon which sprang up in the 1990s when East Germans increasingly felt they had been taken over by the West and memories of the East were being devalued. 2260745,yp+T7PMY5lKvdiJRNP2232rRcIxVh8A_S7N9IsWuz4QEwaEPZZrjpU+rJbihmueTTpJCTKIusJ0qmDEDRKo4WA==This resulted in an identity crisis for the generation which had grown up behind the Wall, and people started organising “East parties” and celebrating their “Easterness” with the consumption of regional products and re-introduced Eastern brands. Made in 1999, Sonnenallee is a hilarious comedy which takes the desire to reassert an East German identity to the big screen, simultaneously mocking and mourning the GDR.

Aston students can access the film through Blackboard. It is also available online here and  here.


Viel Vergnügen – and apologies for the poor quality of the subtitles!



German Film of the Week: Goodbye Lenin

200_sThis week’s film is Wolfgang Becker’s classic Goodbye Lenin, which provides a comic take on the rapid transformation process that East Germany underwent when it joined the Federal Republic following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

When Christiane wakes up from a months-long coma and has to avoid all forms of excitement to prevent a relapse, her son Alex is faced with the challenge of hiding the changes that have taken place and recreating the GDR for her – complete with locally produced pickles and fake East German news.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE. Box of Broadcasts users can access the film here and it is also available online here and here.

Viel Vergnügen!

German Film of the Week: Requiem

indexThis week’s film is Requiem, Hans Christian Schmid’s 2006 drama based on the real life story of Anneliese Michel, who died in 1975 following Catholic exorcism rites. Her life also inspired the American film The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, Box of Broadcasts users can watch it here  and it is available online here and here.

Viel Vergnügen!

German Film of Week: Go Trabi Go

"Go, Trabi, Go" BRD 1990 Walter StumphOur first film in 2015 is Go Trabi Go, a comedy about an East German family who decide to take advantage of their newly acquired freedom to travel and set off for Italy – following in the steps of Goethe’s Italian Journey which took place almost exactly 200 years earlier. Unlike Goethe, the Struutz family travel in the comfort of their own automobile, but “Schorsch” is an old Trabant car and the journey turns out to be quite a challenge for “him”.

One of the first films about East Germany to be made after the Wall came down, Go Trabi Go celebrates Saxonian resilience in the face of adversity and pokes fun at the developing tensions between resourceful East Germans and their richer cousins in the west.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE and it is available online here .

Here is a brief taster:

Viel Vergnügen!

German Film of the Week: Barbara

imagesThis week’s film is Christian Petzold’s powerful drama Barbara (2012), which portrays a young woman’s struggle  against the East German secret service, the Stasi. Working as a doctor in 1980s East Berlin, Barbara finds herself put under surveillance and banished to a small hospital in a rural backwater, where she soon makes plans for her escape to the West.

Petzold is one of Germany’s most celebrated directors and part of the “Berlin School” of arthouse cinema.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here (English subtitles) and here (no subtitles) for Box of Broadcast users.


Viel Vergnügen!



German Film of the Week: The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen)

dasletzteschweigenThis week’s film is the 2010 crime drama The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen). In the 1980s, a provincial German town is shaken by the brutal rape and murder of 11 year-old Sinikka. 23 years later, the case remains unsolved, and police officer Mittich is about to enter retirement when another girl is killed in the same way as Sinikka, on the anniversary of her disappearance. Filmed in the vein of Scandinavian Nordic Noir dramas (and starring Ulrich Thomsen, one of Denmark’s most renowned actors) this tense thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.


Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here for Box of Broadcast users. Here’s the trailer:


Viel Vergnügen!


German Film of the Week: Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon)

das-weisse-band-film-540x304This week’s film is Michael Haneke’s harrowing dissection of German society in the early 20th century.The White Ribbon has been aptly described by The Guardian as “a ghost story without a ghost, a whodunnit without a denouement, a historical parable without a lesson, an unforgettably disturbing and mysterious film”.

vlcsnap-2010-02-28-18h42m02s164Outwardly the story of life in a small village in pre-Nazi Germany, where strange attacks take place with the culprit remaining a mystery and the children presenting a hostile unified front against all adult investigations, The White Ribbon touches on timeless issues of social behaviour and human cruelty, whilst implicitly suggesting that this is a portrayal of the generation that would allow Hitler to rise to power.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here  for Box of Broadcasts users.

Here’s the trailer:

Viel Vergnügen!


German Film of the Week: Run Lola Run

462998447_1280x720 This week’s film is Tom Tykwer’s 1998 classic Lola rennt (Run Lola Run). Set in what was then recently  reunified Berlin, this fast-moving masterpiece centres on Lola who is trying to procure 100 000 deutschmarks in 20 minutes to save the life of her small-time crook boyfriend.  As she runs across town to prevent him from making his situation worse by robbing a supermarket, she encounters people and makes decisions which have an impact on the outcome of her story. But what happens when she reaches the end and doesn’t like it – can she go back and start over?

Lola rennt is an experimental film with big mainstream appeal and an intriguing homage to the city of Berlin.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and through Box of Broadcasts. Here is the trailer:

Viel Vergnügen!

German Film of the Week: Nosferatu

Max Schreck in FW Murnau's NosferatuMade almost 100 years ago, Murnau’s unauthorised adaptation of “Dracula” effortlessly stands the test of time. It is as deliciously scary now as it was in the heyday of German Expressionist Cinema.

Using light and shadow and the characteristics of silent film to utmost effect, it is not surprising that this classic appears on many “best films of all times” lists.

Having inspired a 1979 remake by New German Cinema director Werner Herzog as well as the 2000 film “Shadow of the Vampire” this film continues to fascinate audiences and filmmakers alike.

“Nosferatu” is in the public domain and can be watched on youtube

as well as in various other places on the internet (e.g. herehere, here, and here ).

A trailer is available here .

Viel Vergnügen! (And don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the film by posting comments on our facebook page or on Twitter!)