Social Consciousness in the Bionade-Biedermeier: An Interview with Filmmakers Marc Bauder and Dörte Franke
Book Summary: Social-injustice dilemmas such as poverty, unemployment, and racism are subjects of continuing debate in European societies and in Germany in particular, as solutions are difficult and progress often comes slowly. Such discussions are not limited to opposing newspaper editorials, position papers, or legislative forums, however; creative works expound on these topics as well, but their contributions to the debate are often marginalized.
Chapter Summary: Debates on postwar German film have highlighted in one corner an absence of serious political engagement with the new realities of a postcommunist, unified Germany (Rentschler), and in another, the forgotten or ignored legacy of East(ern) German filmmakers, whose work in the early 1990s peered into the post-totalitarian quotidian. Lacking in these analyses of film's ability to reflect politically on recent German history has been an extended look at German documentaries in the twenty-first century. Particularly when questioning film's potential to initiate or sustain historical inquiry or to mold public memory and influence identity politics, the documentary lends its own contribution to mediating and forming social images. While the documentary's role in disseminating the representation of subjects, narrative techniques, general ethical values, and the documentarian's personal ethical position in connecting life with art is acquiring increasing significance in scholarly studies, the specific application of these academic pursuits to contemporary German documentary films remains in its infancy. [excerpt]
Cohen, Laurel. “Social Consciousness in the Bionade-Biedermeier: An Interview with Filmmakers Marc Bauder and Dörte Franke.” Envisioning Social Justice in Contemporary German Culture. Eds. Jill E. Twark and Axel Hildebrandt. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2015. 186-202.