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. 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!
This 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.
Our 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:
This week’s film is Aimee & Jaguar, Max Färberböck’s WW II lesbian lovestory between a Nazi housewife and a Jewish journalist, based on real-life events.
Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here for Box of Broadcast users.
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: