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Larry Kardish on Berlin and German Cinema

Is Berlin the center of filmmaking in Germany today?

There is a lot of film activity going on in Germany, and Berlin is just one of the centers … Don’t forget we’re still dealing with the legacy of a divided Germany, and of a city, Berlin, in which there was not much filmmaking activity … at least in the West. It was the capital of East German filmmaking, because the major studio was located in East Berlin in the German Democratic Republic. Now there are filmmaking centers in Berlin and in Hamburg and in Munich …, where a lot of new German cinema emerged in the 60s and 70s … But Berlin is growing and is becoming a much more important, much more significant center of filmmaking activity …

A lot of avant-garde and independent-spirited filmmakers have made Berlin their home, because Berlin was always very receptive to artists, particularly during the period when the city was divided, and the Berlin government was trying to attract residents, particularly young residents, to a city that was surrounded by another country, East Germany. So we have filmmakers like Ulrike Ottinger and Rosa von Praunheim, who have basically made Berlin their home and their base of activities even though they may make some of their films elsewhere.


Kardish discusses themes in German cinema

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