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SCREENING THE EAST

Heimat, Memory and Nostalgia in German Film since 1989

Nick Hodgin

272 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-128-6 $120.00/£75.00 Hb Published (May 2011)

ISBN  978-1-78238-134-1 $29.95/£18.50 Pb Published (May 2013)

eISBN 978-0-85745-129-3 $29.95/£18.50 eBook Published


Hb Pb eBook $29.95
 

Hodgin ... brings extensive historical and sociological knowledge to his perceptive discussion of complex topics such as nostalgia for the GDR and debates over how its ambiguous history should be represented ... by bringing to the attention of English-speaking readers many less-known films and filmmakers, this readable study provides a valuable resource on recent German film history.”  ·  Choice

“…this monograph by the British cultural historian and scholar of film Nick Hodgin is especially welcome. On the basis of a wide range of sources—more than eighty thematically relevant films, some of which are relatively unknown and only accessible with difficulty—it deals with German films produced between 1989 and 2008…Inspired by reading this book, one would like to read more, which suggests that it is worth continuing to work with film as a historical source for recent German history.”  ·  German Historical Institute London Bulletin

“…contains useful and nuanced readings of the best-known films dealing with themes related to unification, as well as highlighting some equally interesting lesser-known works, in order to provide a rounded picture of German cinema’s engagement with these issues in the past 17 years. I am not aware of any other publication that covers such a range of material and this in itself makes the book a valuable contribution to the field.”  ·  David Clarke, University of Bath

"This is an extremely rich study of the representation of east German identity and the former GDR in post-unification cinema. The author clearly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the films of this period ... Hodgin's book breaks genuinely new ground."  ·  Seán Allan, University of Warwick

"The book reveals an excellent knowledge of German culture and cinema, and combines methodological soundness with an ability to talk about films in a lively way free of jargon. Screening the East should not be missed by anybody interested in German cinema and culture, as well as cinema as discourse on history and space."  ·  Ewa Mazierska, University of Central Lancashire

"Screening the East provides insightful readings of contemporary classics such as Good Bye, Lenin! and The Lives of Others alongside films which complement these popular memories of life on the other side of the Wall by an eastern and, arguably, more authentic perspective. This is an engaging and important contribution to German cinema and cultural studies, providing a wealth of contextual detail."  ·  Daniela Berghahn, Reader in Film Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London

Screening the East considers German filmmakers’ responses to unification. In particular, it traces the representation of the East German community in films made since 1989 and considers whether these narratives challenge or reinforce the notion of a separate East German identity. The book identifies and analyses a large number of films, from internationally successful box-office hits, to lesser-known productions, many of which are discussed here for the first time. Providing an insight into the films’ historical and political context, it considers related issues such as stereotyping, racism, regional particularism and the Germans’ confrontation with the past.

Nick Hodgin teaches German and Film Studies at the University of Lancaster (UK). He has published widely on German film and German cultural studies, including the co-edited volume on GDR culture, The GDR Remembered. Representing the East German tate since 1989 (Camden House, 2011). His current projects focus on visual culture in the GDR, international documentary cinema, and contemporary German filmmakers.

Series: Volume 11, Film Europa


LC: PN1993.5.G3H63 2011

BL: YC.2012.a.1717

BISAC: PER004030 PERFORMING ARTS/Film & Video/History & Criticism; PER004000 PERFORMING ARTS/Film & Video/General

BIC: APFA Film theory & criticism; HBLW3 Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000



Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements

Introduction

  • Films and Identity: Reflecting the Nation
  • Heimat, Memory and Nostalgia

Chapter 1. Mapping Identity

  • After Unity: Stereotypes and Dissent
  • A Post-GDR Identity?
  • Ostalgie - Recharging the Batteries of Identity

Chapter 2. Heimat Stories: East Meets West

  • The Heimatfilm: Past Genres for Present Tensions
  • Heimatas Refuge
  • Locating Heimat in the GDR
  • Screening Heimat in the GDR
  • Contesting Heimat
  • An Island Mentality:D Brocken
  • Heimat Found?Go Trabi Go II. Das war der wilde Osten
  • Conclusion: Triumph of the Underdog

Chapter 3. Lost Landscapes

  • Provincial Fears and Loathing
  • Escaping Heimat
  • Failed Utopia?
  • Paradise Lost?
  • Post-unification Landscapes: Charting Memory
  • Stories from the Margins
  • Still Life: Representing the East
  • Memory and Loss
  • Neben der Zeit: Memories in Ruins, Ruined Memories
  • Landscape and Meaning

Chapter 4. At the Back of Beyond: Heimat East

  • On the Road Again
  • The Occidental Tourists: Wir Können auch anders
  • Resisting Stereotypes
  • On the Run
  • The Community as Mob
  • Borderland/Bored Land
  • Community Undone

Chapter 5. Berlin: Disorientation/Reorientation

  • After Unification: Lapsus memoriae?
  • No-Man’s Land
  • Orientations
  • Haunted by the Past
  • Disorientation
  • New Cartographies: Berlin is in Germany

Chapter 6. Good Bye, Ostalgie?

  • Commodifying the Past
  • Disneyland GDR
  • Reimagining the GDR
  • Recycling the Past: Der Zimmerspringbrunnen
  • Reconstructing the GDR
  • Between Ostalgie and Westalgie
  • Fade to Grey: NVA
  • Stasiland GDR

Conclusion

  • A Community Apart?
  • Towards Normalization?

Filmography
Bibliography
Index

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