German Documentary


This mini-season of German documentary films presented in association with the Goethe-Institut.

As You Ses (Wie man sieht)

Harun Farocki | Germany | 1986 | 72 min | German with English subtitles

Farocki’s provocatively confrontational documentary gives us a history of technology in which the tank is a logical outgrowth of agricultural machinery and machine guns are likened to the internal combustion engine, exploring the ambivalent relationship between technologies developed for civil use and those designed for military purposes.

Sunday, 8 November at 4.30pm

November Days (Novembertage)

Marcel Ophüls | Germany | 1990 | 130 min | German with English subtitles

On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Director Marcel Ophüls interviewed politicians and ordinary people at the centre of the change that followed, presenting a comparison between the situation in 1990 and that of postwar Germany.

Sunday, 15 November at 4.30pm

I Don’t Just Want You to Love Me (Ich will nicht nur, daß ihr mich liebt)

Hans Günther Pflaum | Germany | 1992 | 103 min | German with English subtitles

A feature-length documentary on the life and career of the director, screenwriter, and actor Rainer Werner Fassbinder, which was produced for the tenth anniversary of the filmmaker’s death in 1982 Fassbinder was one of the most important figures in the New German Cinema. Pflaum’s film juxtaposes archival footage of Fassbinder discussing his own life and work with film excerpts from many of Fassbinder’s films and testimonials from his closest colleagues.

Sunday, 22 November at 4.30pm

My Name Is Not Ali (Ali im Paradies)

Viola Shafik | Germany | 2011 | 92 min | German, Arabic, French with English subtitles

El Hedi Ben Salem M’barek Mohammed Mustafa died on 15 May 1976 in a prison in Nimes. The man was German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s partner in the early seventies and played the leading role in Fassbinder’s film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. Since then, many rumours on the life and death of the native Moroccan, whom Fassbinder met in Paris, have circulated. Filmmaker Viola Shafik, who grew up in Germany and Egypt, searches for traces of his life.

Sunday, 29 November at 4.30pm

Two Mothers (Meine Mütter – Spurensuche in Riga)

Rosa von Praunheim | Germany | 2006 | 87 min | German with English subtitles

At the age of 60, the ground-breaking gay filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim discovered that his ‘mother’ had in fact adopted him from an orphanage in Riga. Though he embarks on a search for his own identity, Two Mothers goes far beyond the individual fate, leading to a moving view of German history.

Sunday, 6 December at 4.30pm