Thematic Series

BLACK LIVES IN GERMANY

Resilience - Art - Hope

In solidarity with the international Black Lives Matter movement, the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst is pleased to announce a virtual Black German Film Festival. Showcasing films by Black German filmmakers, actors, scholars and activists, Black Lives in Germany: Resilience, Art and Hope offers viewers a bold and refreshing look at the diversity of the Black diaspora and contemporary Germany.

 

Each event includes a streamed film screening, followed by a live virtual Q+A and discussion with filmmakers and other guests.

 

All virtual events free and open to the public!

Complete program details will be available shortly.

 

Mark your calendar for two Fall 2020 events!

Stay tuned for registration details.

 

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EVENT I:

 

  • Tue - Thur, Oct. 20 - 22: Stream these Films

 

Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984-1992

 

(Audre Lorde – Die Berliner Jahre 1984–1992, 2012, Germany, dir. Dagmar Schultz, script Ika Hügel-Marshall, ed. Aletta von Vietinghoff, 79 min., color, EN ST)

 

This award-winning documentary explores a little-known chapter in the life of the prolific African-American author Audre Lorde (1934-92), who lived in Berlin in the 1980s. Lorde, who described herself as "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," helped ignite the Afro-German Movement and made lasting contribtuions to the German political and cultural scene before and after unification.

 

Hope In My Heart – The May Ayim Story

(Hoffnung im Herz. Mündliche Poesie - May Ayim, 1997, Germany, dir. Maria Binder, co-prod. Dagmar Schultz, 29 min. color EN ST)

 

A portrait of the Ghanaian-German poet, academic and political activist May Ayim (1960-95). One of the founders of the Black German Movement, Ayim became known in Germany and abroad for her political poetry and her research on the history and present situation of Afro-Germans. Strongly connected to other Black poets of the diaspora, she explored and expanded the genre of oral poetry / spoken word, confronting white German society with its prejudices.

 

  • Thur, Oct. 22, 12:00 noon (EST): Live Virtual Q&A and Discussion

 

Audre Lorde, May Ayim and the birth of the Black German Movement. A discussion with director Dagmar Schultz, author Ika Hügel-Marshall and film editor Aletta von Vietinghoff, hosted by Sara Lennox (UMass Amherst)

 

Dagmar Schultz grew up in West Berlin, where she studied at the Free University before studying film, television and journalism at the Univ. of Michigan startin gin 1963. In 1974, she co-founded Orlanda Verlag in Berlin.

Ika Hügel-Marshall is an Afro-German activist and author of the autobiography Daheim unterwegs: Ein deutsches Leben (available as: Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany). It chronicles her experiences growing up and won the Audre Lorde Literary Award; she has presented it throughout Germany, Austria and the U.S.

Aletta von Vietinghoff forefronts working on important films that have the capacity to empower people and Foster change.

Host Sara Lennox is Prof. Emerita of German Studies at UMass Amherst. Her books include Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture (2016).

 

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EVENT II:

 

  • Tue - Thur, Nov. 3 - 5: Stream this Film

 

At Second Glance

(Auf den zweiten Blick, 2013, Germany, dir. Sheri Hagen, 92 min., color, English subtitles)

 

Berlin, a multicultural city that is creative and full of movement can also be lonely and anonymous. Weaving together the stories of Kay and Falk, Benjamin and Elena, and Till and Pan—three visually impaired couples—At Second Glance offers an intimate portrayal of the interdependent and isolating nature of human relationships.

 

  • Thur, Nov. 5, 5:00 pm (EST): Live virtual Q&A and Discussion

 

A discussion with director Sheri Hagen about reframing diversity in German cinema and her film At Second Glance.

 

Sheri Hagen was born in Lagos, Nigeria and grew up in Hamburg, Germany; she studied drama in Hamburg and Vienna. Since 1996, Hagen has played many roles in German film and television, as well as on stage. She launched her directorial career in 2007, writing all her own scripts and financing films through her production company, Equality Film. At Second Glance was Hagen's first full-length feature film as a director.

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION

please email Kevina King

 

 

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