Germanic Languages | German Film & Popular Culture
G418 | 16600 | Petrescu


German film and popular culture: Subculture Trouble

During this course, we take a cinematic and literary journey through
various subcultures in contemporary Germany. Our visual and textual
endeavor starts with the imaginary community of native Indians, and
leads us to actual minority groups like the German Turkish population,
Blacks growing up in East Germany, and Jews in post unification times.
We analyze how these minorities and their subcultures are represented
in terms of genre in film, literature and contemporary journalism. Are
there differences in the way the Wild West is depicted in East German
films versus West German movies?  Are these distinctions indicative of
the different political systems and cultural contexts from which they
emerged? How do the lives of Stasi victims (East Germany’s secret
police) unfold today? How do former Stasi officers live theirs?  Is
there a preference for specific literary and cinematic genres when it
comes to showing Turkish, Black and Jewish communities in today’s
Germany? Does the register of comedy prevail over drama? Is there a
conceptual or stylistic correlation between the literature and the
films that portray these subcultures?

There will be regular film screenings during which we will watch some
of the latest, jaunty, hip and ingenious German films that created a
buzz and marched triumphantly through the world’s film festivals, like
Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (2004), Kebab Connection (2005), Alles
auf Zucker (2005). To keep us informed and culturally alert about the
most recent German films, we will closely follow and comment on the
Berlinale, the international film festival that takes place in
Germany’s capital in mid-February and that unfolds simultaneous to our
class. Furthermore, we will consult major German journals and
prestigious cultural magazines to keep us at the cutting edge of
German contemporary developments in politics and culture. Discussions
are primarily in German, as are most of the readings. To put our newly
gained insight into German film and popular culture to practical use
we will conclude with a final creative group project, namely the
shooting of a film.

Texts:

Rusch, Claudia , Meine Freie deutsche Jugend

ISBN 3596159865 2005 Fischer, Frankfurt

Illies, Florian Generation Golf, zwei

ISBN 3442459672 2005 Goldmann

Funder, Anna  Stasiland

1862076553 2004 Granta Books

Terkessidis, Ma, Migranten

3434535047 Europaische Verlagsamstalt