• The cycle ‘Youth & The Wall’ will screen feature films that illustrate how German and international youth dealt with a divided city
• The cycle has been programmed in collaboration with the French Institute of Valencia and the Goethe Institut
València (19.05.23). The Cinema Jove Festival, organized by the Institut Valencià de Cultura, has programed the cycle ‘Youth & the Wall’ to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It includes six feature films that will be screened at the French Institute of Valencia.
The director of the Festival, Carlos Madrid, considers this is a special occasion to remember a historical event: “this anniversary works as a pretext to review, through filmmaking, the life of Berlin on both sides of the Wall, during the 28 years it was standing.”
The wall that surrounded West Berlin from 1961 to 1989 made youth and urban cultural actions take different paths on each side, a fact that, according to Carlos Madrid, intends to be reflected in this cycle: “The six films display the disruption this separation created for the city’s inhabitants, told through different perspectives, such as musical subcultures, personal relations, love and even terrorism.”
A collection of six films that “follow the line of Cinema Jove, focusing on the description of the life of the young people, and the impact the wall had on the personal, relational, social, cultural and political areas.”
Evidently included in the selection is Goodbye Lenin (Wolfgang Becker, 2003), the only film of the cycle that displays life after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from finding out that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. The film was a critical success and received numerous awards and nominations, including the Best European Film at the Goya Awards, the César and the European Film Academy awards.
Another one of the selected films is ‘The invisible frame (Cynthia Beatt, 2009)’, a poetical journey through the varied landscapes that surrounded the Berlin Wall. “a peculiar film –according to Carlos Madrid- that picks up the spirit of experimental documentaries. ‘Cycling the frame’ starred Tilda Swinton, who travelled around the wall from the Eastern side. In ‘The invisible frame’, twenty years later, she visits the same sites, but this time on both sides.”
It is precisely in another movie of the cycle, ‘B-Movie. Lust and sound in West Berlin 1979-1989’ (Jörg A. Hoppe, Heiko Lange, Klaus Maeck, 2015), that we can find Tilda Swinton filming ‘Cycling the frame’, along with other renowned artists such as Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld and David Bowie. Music, art and chaos in the wild West-Berlin of the 1980s. “The interest of this film centers on the emergence of the cultural and creative life in West Berlin”, highlights Carlos Madrid. A collage of mostly unreleased film and TV footage from a frenzied and creative decade.
The rise of the punk scene and the influence of music imported from the UK also frame the main story of ‘Never Mind the Wall’ (Connie Walter, 2001). In 1982. Nele travels from West-Germany to East-Germany where she meets Captain, singer of a band. They fall in love but the regime prevents them from seeing each other again.
Some years prior, Volker Schlöndorff filmed ‘The legend of Rita’ (2000), where he tells the story of Rita Vogt, a West German terrorist who abandons the revolution and settles in East Germany with a new identity, and where lives in constant fear of having her cover blown.
The break-up of personal relationships during this period is also reflected in another one of the films, ‘The Promise’ (Margarethe von Trotta, 1994). In autumn of 1961, shortly after the construction of the Wall, Sophie and Konrad try to escape to the western side but Konrad does not succeed. For the next 28 years, they only see each other four times.