Vortrag: German Landscapes seen by Children: Searching for Identity in (New) German Cinema

19.04.2015 Vortrag: «German Landscapes seen by Children: Searching for Identity in (New) German Cinema», Beitrag zum Panel «Shifting Temporal Identities», im Rahmen von Childhood & Nation in World Cinema (Royal Holloway Conference, London 18.-19.4.2016).


By engaging with a selection of films of the New German Cinema (1970s-1980s) I explore the function of child figures as mediators between past and present, between self and other. They embody the perspective of a home landscape (and culture) that has become estranged by German history or they represent utopic figures of resistance. I show how the body and the perspective of children are employed to confront landscapes, contemporary as in Alice in den Städten (Wim Wenders 1974), lost and past as in Deutschland, bleiche Mutter (Helma Sanders-Brahms, 1980), or imaginary as in Das goldende Ding (Edgar Reitz. Ula Stöckl 1971) or Peppermint Frieden (Marianne Rosenbaum 1983). In crossing borders those child figures interrogate established categories of nation and gender, that have become problematic and embody a search for new modes of belonging. They also represent the filmmaker’s view, examining the strategies of filmmaking – as a different mode of crossing borders.