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GoetheInstitute

18/05/2005

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.

Der Tagesspiegel, 18.05.2005

Victor Yerofeyev, author of "Russian Beauty" comments on the juridical farce taking place in Moscow with the trial of Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky: "Contrary to what our intelligentsia believes, the trial of our hero is no political theatre. It is the battle of Stalingrad. Not a step in retreat! For decades, for centuries, we have been so bent and distorted by the powers that be, that anyone who can walk upright without using his hands seems to us like a freak, if not a criminal. That is presumably the sad moral to the story of Michail Khodorkovsky." (See In Today's Feuilletons of April 26 for a description of the trial.)

Two days before the official opening, Peter von Becker visited the exhibition "Die neuen Hebräer - 100 Jahre Kunst in Israel" (The New Hebrews: A Century of Art in Israel) in Berlin. "Never before, not even in the famous Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, has the more than 2000 year-old "Temple Scroll" from the Qumran caves on the Dead Sea, been publicly displayed. Above all, however, in the 57 hard-fought years of the state of Israel, there has never been a comparable exhibition of Israeli art." Despite its name, the show covers more than 100 years, and contains not only Israeli art. "With over 700 exhibits, the show covers the entire span from the cultural and religious roots of the Biblical Israelis (or Hebrews), to the dramatic events of the present." Von Becker comments: "The exhibition shows in all its complexity how Israel became what it is. A history that alternates between tragedy and folly, desperation and faith in the future. And all this is shown in an astonishing way. The curators have symbolically divided the twenty rooms on the first floor of the Martin Gropius Bau museum and the gallery above the central hall into 15 chapters, themes and motifs."
The exhibition will run from May 20 to September 5 at the Martin Gropius Bau museum in Berlin.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 18.05.2005

Historian Wolfgang Burgdorf calls for the Turkish government to start up a joint investigation of the Armenian genocide, comprising both Turkish and Armenian historians. And the idea seems not to have fallen on deaf ears in Turkey. "Turkey should drop its guard and take the initiative. It should invite Armenians and the Armenian diaspora to look into the events that took place between 1915 to 1917, with a jointly appointed commission of historians. Prime Minister Erdogan has recently backed this proposal, and Chancellor Schröder promplty praised him for it. The commission should 'evaluate the events in a fair way, and in accordance with historical reality'. In the long term, a joint school textbook commission could be aimed at, on the model of the Polish-German, or the French-German commissions."


Die Tageszeitung, 18.05.2005


Nina Apin raves about the new BMW factory in Leipzig, which the architect Zaha Hadid has leant a "futuristic glamour". "The central building of the new BMW factory is coolness itself, an elegant swinging structure of exposed concrete, steel and glass. From the outside, the building with its sideways leaning silhouette is reminiscent of a space glider. On the inside, the various levels contribute in a most perplexing way to a harmonious, flowing entirety."


Cannes Cannes Cannes

Writing in the NZZ from Cannes, Martin Walder reports that the "Star Wars" hysteria is "squibbed" and the "Pentecostal spirit" has left the festival. "What remains is the blood trail of force that draws one so magically into the cinema... and I'm not referring to the screaming film posters, screens and the screeching soundtracks in the bowels of the film market. A blood trail is also to be found throughout the illuminated rooms where, in the evenings, luxury and beauty are festively celebrated. Here, one searches for indications that knowledge – moral, social, political - has been gained." Walder decides there has been a "laudable attempt" to include "relevant themes in the Competition. Sobering is the conclusion one must draw: that the expectations set are not met by the films in their execution."

Tobias Kniebe admits in the SZ to have lost his heart in Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers". It's about an old man who learns in an anonymous letter that he probably has a son. He sets out to visit the woman who is supposed to be the mother. Bill Murray, "patron saint of cultivated world-weariness" plays the lead. He has several "incredibly funny, tender, unforgettable encounters with women – Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Frances Conroy, Julie Delpy. If there is any justice for the comedy genre, this film takes the Golden Palm."

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