‘Being useful is a form of willing slavery…’ (by Lucy Reynolds)

It is Juliane, the principal figure in Margarethe von Trotta’s film The German Sisters (Die Bleierne Zeit,1981), who makes this barbed riposte to her sister Marianne, when the latter, committed to revolutionary violence, shares her fervent wish to ‘serve mankind’. Juliane’s remark appears double-edged: she means to talk sense into a zealous younger sister bent… Continue reading ‘Being useful is a form of willing slavery…’ (by Lucy Reynolds)

Failing to Act, Acting to Fail: The Films of Margarethe von Trotta (by Emily Watlington)

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum

“How is it that some people decide the fate of others?” asks Rosa Luxemburg in the opening of Margarethe von Trotta’s 1986 biopic of the anti-war, anti-capitalist philosopher and activist.  Sub “others” for ‘women’ and this question is everywhere in von Trotta’s work.  By way of factual and fictional tales of women revolutionaries like Hannah… Continue reading Failing to Act, Acting to Fail: The Films of Margarethe von Trotta (by Emily Watlington)

Introduction (by Catharine Des Forges, ICO)

One of the most exciting things about contemporary cinema exhibition is the range of new curatorial voices and stories being told across cinema screens of all kinds.  At the Independent Cinema Office, we have played our part in encouraging those voices and facilitating their expression – and it’s imperative that we do that. Despite the… Continue reading Introduction (by Catharine Des Forges, ICO)

Imagine (by Sarah Wood)

Imagine. I open a British newspaper and read a report that in the days following the election of the new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro military police entered twenty universities and confiscated teaching materials related to anti-fascist history and activism – an attack on thought, on freedom, on any form of opposition. I’m lucky I can… Continue reading Imagine (by Sarah Wood)

The Personal is Political (by Erica Carter)

On September 2018, an event in St Paul’s Church (Paulskirche), Frankfurt-am-Main, reaffirmed Margarethe von Trotta’s status as a cineaste of major international note. The occasion was the award ceremony for the Adorno Prize, given every three years in memory of the Jewish Marxist philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, and awarded in 2018 to von Trotta in… Continue reading The Personal is Political (by Erica Carter)