English / Deutsch


Other Cinema

Mark Nash

Several hubs present ‘other cinemas’ in the sense of oppositional film practices, however the Other Cinemas hub has a specific focus – to provide a broadened understanding of East German cinema’s interaction with avant-garde practices, which we explore for example through the work of Jürgen Böttcher and the ‘underground’ super 8 film scene. The Other Cinemas hub also focuses on gay and lesbian life and culture in East Germany. Heiner Carow’s film Coming Out (1989) is emblematic here – a sign of a new liberalism (overshadowed by the fall of the Wall and the collapse of East German socialism). We also present Wieland Speck’s Westler: East of the Wall (1985), and Rosa von Praunheim’s 1970 film Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt (It’s Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, but the Situation in Which He Lives) the screening of which on West German television in 1973 was crucial to the founding of the new West German gay movement and encouraged artistic expression in the east.

There are few traces of lesbian life in East German moving image culture – we include one such Viel zu viel verschwiegen. Official East German ideology was very supportive of working women however, and some ‘official’ films of the period deal with the conflicts that working-class women experienced balancing commitment to work and home. Solo Sunny (1980) was one of the most celebrated of these films to be produced before the collapse of the East German state and cinema apparatus.

Films of a number of the 3rd Berlin Biennale artists are also featured in the Other Cinemas hub. Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston (1989) was originally screened at the Berlinale in 1989. Ulrike Ottinger’s monumental narratives remain faithful to avant-garde explorations and often involve lesbian themes. One of the focuses of the Migration hub is on experimental and independent film and video analysing migration. These films include Dušan Makavejev’s Gorila se kupa u podne (1993 – Gorilla Bathes at Noon), Or Želimir Žilnik’s Kenedi se vraća kući (2003 – Kenedi Comes Back Home). One focus of the Urban Conditions hub, developed by Jesko Fezer and Axel John Wieder, is on interviews dealing with Berlin-specific urban topics produced specifically for the 3rd Berlin Biennale.

Thanks to:
Dagmar Boguslawski, Margaret Deriaz, Yasmina Dekkar, Dr. Dorothea Dornhof, Inge Dresel, Ulmann Hakert, Dr. Nina Hartl, Dr. Rainer Herrn, Cornelia Klauss, Björn Koll, Barbara Löblein, Claus Löser, Dr. Bettina Mathes, Laura Munoz-Alonso, Ulrike Ottinger, Dr. Erika Richter, Matthias Sohr, Wieland Speck, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Dr. Katharina Sykora, Wolfgang Theis, Frank Wagner