Pool of Princesses

Prinzessinnenbad, directed by Bettina Blümner, 2007 The title of this documentary film (literally ‘Pool of Princesses’) is a play on words derived from one of the film’s main locations: the Prinzenbad public pool in Kreuzberg, Berlin. The ‘princesses’ in question are three 15-year-old girls whose interconnected lives are the main focus of Bettina Blumner’s film.…

Repetition and Ritual in Dinner for One

Every year, along with firecrackers, champagne and pouring molten lead, it has become a tradition in Germany to watch a TV show called Dinner for One on New Year’s Eve. Recorded in a small Hamburg theatre in 1963, the sketch, also known as The 90th Birthday (Der. 90. Geburtstag), has become an integral component of…

The Collapse of Ideology in The Architects

The Architects (Die Architekten), directed by Peter Kahane, 1990 This is the moment when the main protagonist in the East German film The Architects says goodbye to his wife and daughter who received permission to escape to the West. In the background you see a sign that says ‘Ausreise’, or ‘Emigration’, a word so rarely…