»I REALLY LIKE TO STAY IN MY NEST AND NOT MOVE.
I TRAVEL IN MY MIND, AND THAT’S A RIGOROUS STATE OF JOURNEYING FOR ME.«
I have to disappoint you: An overview of the international film landscape as the name Panorama promises is not what you are going to get here. Being able to provide an overview presupposes a Eurocentric view, which the Festival resists. Quite apart from that, it’s clear nobody can claim to have an overview anymore anyway. The world has been turned upside down and instead of learning something about »other« cultures, we want to look firstly at what is happening right in front of us, on our own doorsteps. We examine the supposedly familiar – and lo and behold, we see another
These days, it is important to take a stance. Even a wellmeant interest in what is different can quickly become a false friend. With her typical quirky humour, the brilliant Afro-American feminist bell hooks puts it this way:
»How do we distinguish between the kind of awareness of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy […] and the kind of ›Eat Pray Love‹ imperialism that is still seeing the other as a resource to enhance you?«
In other words, interest is all well and good – but only if we take a stance. To do this, we asked ourselves three questions when we viewed the submissions for the section Panorama: Does this film contextualise its subject historically? Are its approaches socially diverse? And finally, does it offer a clever analysis of current social discourses? It follows that if you look beyond your own doorstep, your view opens up.
The feature-length films are frequently about a character that moves transnationally: either away from their country of birth, Germany (Out of Place), away from their home country to Germany (In the Name of Scheherazade or the First Beergarden in Tehran), or they remain constantly international (Walchensee Forever). Status and Terrain – this title of a minimalistic experimental film about blind spots in Germany’s culture of remembrance (»Erinnerungskultur«) also refers to what this section is about: displacement.
The documentary Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism about Austria’s first Minister for Women’s Affairs introduces political aspects to the debate and simultaneously demonstrates an exemplary approach. Particularly in recent years, Austrian women directors have repeatedly produced effective models of (filmic) resistance.
Concept instead of overview: this theme also runs through the short film programmes. The Magical Dimension: Images from Beyond promises insights into other dimensions. In Performing Power, experimental films ask questions about power structures and the dynamics of power. Loosely based on bell hooks’ idea that »If you can buy shoes together, you can do politics together«, humour and criticism both feature in the Film All-Nighter programme, once again a highlight of the Panorama section.
Marieke Steinhoff is a freelance film curator for Internationales Frauen Film Fest Dortmund+Köln. She completed her studies in theatre, film and television, German and ethnology at the University of Cologne and in Rome, Italy. While studying, she wrote on a freelance basis for the German film magazine Schnitt, where she later became chief editor. She also became organisational head of Filmplus, the forum for film editing and montage art in Cologne, for two years. Since 2013 she has been working for the ifs internationale filmschule köln, including coordinating the teaching of film and media studies. She’s also involved in the »ifs-Begegnung« film and event series, as well as the film history series Filmgeschichten at the Filmforum NRW in Cologne’s Museum Ludwig. In her curatorial work, Marieke looks at aspects of film heritage and canonisation, archives and diversity as well as young German film.
»At the moment, aspirations for change and new anti-feminism and racism are pitted against each other. For me, responding to this, always keeping a view to (film) history, is part of the remit of IFFF Dortmund+Köln. It includes showing films that disrupt rigid dichotomies, that allow ambivalence and different opinions and interpretations, and that articulate utopias for a more just society, is both a luxury and a necessity – and for me, cinema is still the greatest place to discuss and dream together.«
Clara Winter, Miguel Ferráez
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