The German Film Office, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films, and Berlin-based Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art present a free virtual showcase of the Berlinale Forum’s 50th-anniversary program with curated film selections by The Museum of Modern Art. The films will be available on demand from December 14–20 to viewers in the United States and will be accompanied by a panel discussion on December 18 at 2pm (EST).

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One of the world’s premier showcases of radical cinema both in form and content, the International Forum of Young Film (later: Berlinale Forum) celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. The selection of six programs, drawn by The Museum of Modern Art from a more extensive series that took place at Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin earlier this year, presents work made between 1969 and 1971 that premiered in the first edition of the Forum. Filmmakers as subversive as Chris Marker, Sarah Maldoror, Rosa von Praunheim, and Helke Sander did not shy from confronting the social, political and economic upheavals that were then giving rise to revolutionary movements around the world, whether Black Power or African independence, second-generation feminism, gay liberation, or workers’ rights. Now, a half-century later, we can contemplate their successes and failures in finding a filmic language to express these seismic shifts on the ground — in streets, factories, universities, and bedrooms — and perhaps find a renewed urgency and inspiration in their collective ongoing struggle

Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art, says: “For fifty years, the Berlinale Forum has been synonymous with the most daring and urgent cinema of its time. Our selection is a testament to this: to visionary filmmakers who through the most subversive of means confronted the exploitation and subjugation of society’s dispossessed.”

Film Program

Curated by Josh Siegel, The Museum of Modern Art.

Programs 1 and 2: Black Liberation
Yolande du Luart, Angela, Portrait of A Revolutionary (1971, USA/France, 1971, 60 min)
William Klein, Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther (1970, Algeria/France, 75 min)

Program 3: African Independence
Med Hondo, Mes voisins (1971, France, 35 min)
Sarah Maldoror, Monangambee (1969, Algeria, 16 min)
Members of the Pan Africanist Congress, Phela-ndaba (End of the Dialogue) (1970, South Africa, 45 min)

Program 4: Women’s Liberation
Helke Sander, Eine Prämie für Irene (Bonus for Irene) (1971, West Germany, 50 min)

Program 5: Gay Liberation
Rosa von Praunheim, Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt (1971, West Germany, 67 min)

Program 6: Workers’ Rights
Hartmut Bitomsky, Harun Farocki, Eine Sache, die sich versteht (15x) (Something Self Explanatory (15x)) (1971, West Germany, 64 min)
Chris Marker, On vous parle de Paris: Maspero, les mots ont un sens(Calling from Paris: Maspero. Words Have a Meaning) (1970, France, 20 min)
Groupe Medvedkine Sochaux, Les trois-quarts de la vie (Three Quarters of a Life) (1971, France, 18 min)

Panel Discussion

Radical Cinema, Then and Now
Friday, December 18 at 2pm (EST)
With Comes the Revolution showcase curator Josh Siegel, Berlinale Forum section head Cristina Nord, filmmakers Nuotama Bodomo and Rosa von Praunheim, and festival director Annouchka de Andrade. Moderated by film scholar Yasmina Price.

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The German Film Office is an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films. Its mission is to promote films from Germany to New York and US audiences and to strengthen their presence in art house...