Berlin, Bahnhof Friedrichstraße 1990
Konstanze Binder, Lilly Grote, Ulrike Herdin, Julia Kunert
June 1990: the border checkpoint is dismantled at Friedrichstraße rail station – a historic moment in which the world is taken apart and reassembled. Four women film-makers from West and East Germany want to capture this moment: streams of travellers, pensive and worried-looking passers-by, the bewildered face of a customs officer. Every day, the station is transformed, rail tracks are rerouted, the course of history is reset.
Curator Madeleine Bernstorff, also the location manager for this film, recalls: »All these symbols and signs, bags, feet, faces, and screen images, as well as a thought-provoking conversation about money and goods with two Russian foreign exchange traders… Who was coming from where, and where were they going? And which new borders were being drawn? These became the central questions of the film.«
The decision to produce the film with a team of four women directors with shared equal status for the film was rejected by the editorial department of Das kleine Fernsehspiel, a German TV programme for up-and-coming film-makers by the television broadcaster ZDF. However, thanks to the efforts of editor Annedore von Donop, the film was eventually produced in the channel’s »Kamerafilm« division. It’s only today that the significance of this film is becoming really apparent. Its direct cinema style operates like an audiovisual archive, bringing the dizzying processes of change that were happening at the time onto celluloid in raw and unembellished form; a key documentary record in German (film) history.
Guest: Lilly Grote
The west German director Konstanze Binder studied film at the DFFB and directed the concert series Die Küche in Berlin (1987–2000).
Born in then West Germany, director Lilly Grote studied at the DFFB (1977–1982) and formed the production company SO36 Film with Ulrike Herdin in 1986.
After fleeing to West Berlin in 1968, Ulrike Herdin († 1991) set up the initiative FRAUEN im KINO e. V. From 1980, she worked as a production manager and assistant director for Jutta Brückner, Lilly Grote and others.
Julia Kunert studied cinematography at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and worked for Helke Misselwitz, Petra Tschörtner, Ula Stöckl and others.