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 democratisation of the internet and the ability it brings to discover cinema of all kinds (rather than being reliant on terrestrial television as my generation was), there are a number of filmmakers who seem inexplicably to be forgotten, or passed over, despite their importance at the time. Margarethe von Trotta is one of these filmmakers.

Her films are so resonant for the times we live in now – the politics of domestic life; of terror; of history; of the role of the media, all refracted through a resolutely feminist lens. She’s also a fabulous storyteller who creates complex and complicated characters, deeply reflective of the times in which they were produced whether contemporary or historical.  Her work feels thoroughly modern and so when we discovered that our partner STUDIOCANAL UK were restoring a number of her films, we knew that we had to bring them to audiences in the UK.

The success of our collaboration with Club des Femmes, Revolt She Said: Women in Film after ’68 suggested that there was an enthusiasm and desire particularly for younger, female audiences to discover and discuss historical work by women filmmakers that didn’t appear in any established canon and so here it is: The Personal is Political. We have commissioned new writing about Margarethe von Trotta from academics, curators and writers from different generations as we were interested in discussing her relevance for audiences in 2018 as well as understanding why she needs to be celebrated and her influence understood.

Cinema changes people’s lives and the relationship we have with cinema is at heart an emotional one. Von Trotta’s cinema is deeply personal and yet radical,  truly life-changing.

Foreword by Catharine Des Forges, Director of the Independent Cinema Office

The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta is a tour that brings four seminal films by the New German Cinema pioneer to UK cinemas until October 2019. The new writing on this site has been commissioned by the Independent Cinema Office (ICO).

The ICO would like to thank the BFI Audience Fund for supporting The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta tour as well as the Goethe Institute and German Screen Studies Network for their support. The titles in this tour are courtesy of STUDIOCANAL UK and distributed under the Vintage World Cinema banner.


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