The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft project “The History of Documentary Cinema in Germany 1945–2005” aims to write the history of documentary cinema in Germany before, during, and after the division of the country into East and West.
For Berlin Documentary Forum 3, members of the research project present, together with Duisburger Filmwoche director Werner Ružička, two film programs provocatively titled German Images. These images stem from the group’s research into the technical and institutional conditions of documentary, as well as its discourses, practices, modes, and major themes. The title designates the source of funding for the films while speculating: are the documentaries marked by national specificity, and if so, how might it be characterized? Mädchen mit Zwanzig (Girls at Twenty), a program of six films produced between 1960–87, looks at changing conceptions of femininity in this period through two generations of young women from East and West Germany. The second program, Turbine, explores the relationship between industrial production and social organization, once again between the two Germanys. Four films made between 1949–64 set the heroic labor and mandated optimism stemming from a modern belief in progress against the reality of dying villages and an increasing disassociation between rural and urban contexts of life. Films from the Encyclopaedia Cinematographica will also be screened. Founded in Göttingen in 1952, this ethnographic archive used film as a medium to document the entire moving world.
Zehn Bauern unter einem Hut Anton Kutter, FRG 1949, 19 min
Unsere Frauen im neuen Leben Ella Ensink, Erwin Anders, GDR 1951, 16 min
Turbine Joop Huisken, GDR 1953, 25 min
Ödenwaldstetten. Ein Dorf verändert sein Gesicht Peter Nestler, FRG 1964, 36 min
Macaca fuscata (Cercopithecidae) - Tree-top Signaling Clarence Ray Carpenter (Japan 1971), Archive No. E 1469, 4 min
Herstellung von Zigarren in Handarbeit - Central Europe, North-West Germany A. Lühning (1979), Archive No. E 2284, 41 min