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QUIDAM film night: The Lives of Others

November 9 @ 7:45 pm

Doors open at 7.30 pm; film starts at 8pm, with an introduction by Dr Katrin Schreiter, Lecturer in German and European Studies, King’s College London.

To reflect the mood of Remembrance weekend and in stark contrast to the gaiety of ‘Monsieur Hulot’ and the charm of ‘Cinema Paradiso’, this month we will watch a sombre, powerful German film – ‘The Lives of Others’, an Oscar winner in 2007 for Best Foreign Language Film, directed by Florian von Donersmarch.

Over 100,000 of East Germany’s 16m population worked directly for the STASI secret police and over 400,000 were listed informants on their fellow citizens. The film depicts the moral compromises, big and small, forced on a group of individuals working in the theatre in East Berlin in 1984, and the price they pay for ‘collaboration’ with Government to protect their careers. Central to the film is how the STASI agent, assigned to spy on a playwright and an actress, understands his own corruption; and how, post German unification, he experiences a form of redemption.

A bleak film in one way, reflecting the German people’s tragedy in the first half of the 20th century (and continued in the east until 1989); but also, a morality tale for everyman – not to rush to moral condemnation of adjustments that those living in a police state must make in order to get by – ask not for whom the bell tolls.

 Dr Katrin Schreiter is a Lecturer in German and European Studies at King’s College London. She received her PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Her research examines the interplay of economics and culture of the Cold War era, and how these areas are connected to the politics of German diplomacy and ideas about nationhood. This research is captured in her forthcoming monograph Designing One Nation: The Politics of Economic Culture and Trade in Divided Germany, 1949-1990 with Oxford University Press. Dr Schreiter will be happy to take questions after her talk.

The now famous Carpenter’s Arms steak, salad and chips supper deal will be available on the night from 6.30pm. Price £15. This will need to be booked in advance. Please call 020 8741 8386.

Details

Date:
November 9
Time:
7:45 pm

Venue

St Peter’s Church, Hammersmith
Black Lion Ln
London, W6 9BE United Kingdom

Organiser

David Broad