After The Fall examines the implications of the absence of this monumental

The 3rd German Film


The festival that brings you the breadth and depth of new German cinema. worm; Tony McKibbin

More than a decade after the fall of the Wall, Germany may be geographically one, but the latest German Film Festival suggests it's a nation still psychologically sundered. Frauke Sandig and Eric Black's documentary, After The Fall (t i t it), examines the Implications of the presence and absence of this monumental ideological rampart, and finds Berliners in many ways as diVided now as they were little more than a decade ago. The film even discovers that West and East

Berliners have different mental sundered. maps: different

ways of wandering around an ostenSibly unified City.

If there is much irony in Sandig and Black‘s film, there is plenty more at the heart of Oskar Roehler’s No Place To Go (t t i ), a monochrome, fictionalised account of West German novelist Gisela Elsner. The opening of the Wall here reSults in the comfortable writer’s career slump as her propagandistic left wrng novels are no longer requrred in the East, and have long Since been left unpublished in the West. Now unable to sell Communist ideas, she knows she can’t sustain her lifestyle. ls her subsequent depressron the result of left Wing diSillusionment, or Just the realisation she’ll struggle to pay for boutique clothing and hotel rooms at the

ideological rampart

ExceISior? Roehler (actually Elsner's son) plays up the bad faith, but plays down easy condemnation.

It's been suggested that some Germans have become so di5i||u5ioned that a wave of nostalgia for the East has arisen, where even ersatz East German coffee can be affectionately remembered. The 70s-set Sun Alley (t it) might not be much of a mowe, but Leander Haussmann’s attempt to make a kind of American Graffiti, transplanted to East Berlin, indicates an interesting need for a reVisionist look at hard times.

While 705 East Berlin is homely, contemporary, unified Berlin in Zoe (t) is a City of homelessness, punctuated by moments where the title character escapes into musmal reverie or drunken stupor. Director Maren-Kea Freese may be looking for the non- Judgemental, a la Fred Keleman's Berlin-set abject piece Fate, but only in a couple of scenes With Zoe losing herself in dance does the film feel genuinely preoccupied With the moment. Andreas Dresen’s The Pollcewoman (t t t) is more openly

A decade after the fall of the Wall, the German Film Festival suggests it's a nation still psychologically

rigged, whatever the influence of Ken Loach and Dogme. Here he follows the eponymous character as she looks both for a career and for a man in her life. But are they mutually incompatible, we might ask, as the senSitiVity she brings to her love life also intrudes on her police work? And though there’s no Wall at issue in this film set in the northern, formerly East German town of Rostock, the East/West diyide is an implied presence, as the formerly industrial City remains mired in the sort of poverty that leaves the police sooal workers as readily as crime busters,

GFT, Glasgow & Filmhouse, Edinburgh, 1-9 Dec. See Film Index.

preview FILM


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Enter at your will the decaying world of Roderick Usher. Witness a man, emotionally exposed, struggling to face his demons. In this ultimate tale of the impossible, Graeae fuse music, light, film, theatrical accessibility, sign language and, for the first time, live audio description.

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30 llov—ld Dec 2000 THE lIST 25