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GoetheInstitute

19/02/2007

In Today's Feuilletons

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Monday 19 February, 2007

Die Tageszeitung
19.02.2007

Cristina Nord hopes that for the next Berlinale, Dieter Kosslick will show a little more courage in his selection of films. "Kosslick's mix – a bit Hollywood, a bit political consciousness, a bit world cinema and three or four contributions from proven European auteurs – is simply not enough if 22 films are competing for the Golden Bear. And it's definitely not enough if you take the festivals in Cannes or Venice as a comparison. The programme that Marco Müller presented on the Lido last September, for instance, was so full of knowledge, love and passion for cinema that Berlin can only look on in envy. It's all the more difficult to understand the selection for competition this year when one considers the films that screened in the other sections, some of which would have been much more suitable."


Die Welt 19.02.2007

Hanns-Georg Rodek found the competition selection for the Berlinale a little heavy on historical and political correctness. "The Berlinale of 2007 could have served to illustrate almost every major event of the 20th century; the genocide of the Armenians ('The Lark Farm'),the German annexation of Czechoslovakia ('I served the king of England'), the concentration camps ('The Counterfeiters'), the Second World War ('Letters from Iwo Jima'), the beginning of the Cold War ('The good German'), the continuing cold war ('The Good Shepherd'), the uprising in Hungary ('Children of Glory'), the South American military dictatorships ('The Year my parents went on vacation'), Apartheid ('Goodbye Bafana'), the beginning of the AIDS epidemic ('The Witnesses'), the Israeli occupation of Lebanon ('Beaufort')... History Overkill."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 19.02.2007

It occurs to Gustav Seibt that no war since 1914 has been supported by so many intellectuals as the Iraq war. He assumes this has to do with the proclivity for great analogies, as seen in Wolf Biermann, György Konrad, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht and Karl-Otto Hondrich, Paul Berman, Michael Ignatieff, Ralph Dahrendorf and Herfried Münkler. "The fall of Saddam, desirable as a goal, was compared directly with the fight against Hitler, the democratisation of Iraq with the democratisation of West Germany and Japan after the Second World War and the chance for a democratic transmission throughout the entire Middle East was compared with the end of the East bloc and the quick establishment of civilian democracies afterwards. But virtually nobody had anything to say about the actual domestic situation in Iraq today. Things developed differently than these anticipatory notions of imminent success suggested. And therein lies an almost obscene arrogance, that is occasion for a sharp criticism of the West. A country is subjected to absolute misery and with what justification? Memories of our own history."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 19.02.2007

"Empty, chattering husks of characters" is what Dirk Pilz saw at Saturday's premiere of Peter Handke's new drama "Spuren der Verirrten," directed by Claus Peymann at the Berliner Ensemble: "Handke's weighty drama murmurs of lost and regained existential frameworks, and a plethora of perceptional worlds. It delights in the secret pleasures of going astray, and the shudder of death and decay. But Peymann's staging shows only artificial poses. Put another way: Where Handke imagines a forest, Peymann sees nothing but trees."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 19.02.2007

"Nina Hoss, the daughter of an employees' representative and Green politician and a theatre director, is one of the very few actresses in German film who's got what it takes for an international career," writes Andreas Kilb of this year's winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actress. "She's utterly fantastic, in Christian Petzold's 'Yella', as well as Doris Dörrie's 'Nackt' and Hermine Hungeburth's 'Die Weiße Massai.' But everywhere she appears, she radiates the certainty that her best roles are yet to come. In the theatre she's shined in plays by Lessing, Georg Büchner and Gerhard Hauptmann. After her success in 'Medea' at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin (review in German), audiences are lying at her feet. Soon they'll even be able to hear her singing in Johann Strauß' 'Fledermaus'."
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Saturday 17 February, 2007


Frankfurter Rundschau 17.02.2007

Arno Widmann comments on the multiculturalism debate currently raging in perlentaucher.de and signandsight.com: "The anger in this discussion can be explained by the fact that we can't afford it to take so long for all those who coming from North Africa, Anatolia, Somalia and Pakistan to understand that they can't have both the Mercedes and the Sharia, the social welfare state and the bloody vendetta."


Die Welt 17.02.2007

Polish author Andrzej Stasiuk has travelled through Germany on a reading tour. His impressions – hotels, train stations, bratwurst stands – are not necessarily any more positive than those of Poles who came before the fall of the Berlin Wall: "In those days, friends of mine went to West Berlin, Düsseldorf or other places as guest workers. They sent back tabs of LSD hidden in packages and letters. Some of them played music in bars or on the street, and sent back decent guitar strings. They lost their jobs and went on unemployment. But I've never heard of any of them making friends with Germans. Germans weren't suited for friendship. At best as employers, policemen or functionaries. It was clear from their stories that Germany would be a much better place without all the Germans... Melancholy and nostalgia are the only things that can prevent you from losing your mind in Germany, the only way to neutralise this country psychically. I try to imagine a weeping German but it only makes me giggle. I can't even imagine a German woman weeping." See our feature "Not a living soul around" by Andrzej Stasiuk.

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