Film + Introduction Bulky Trash + Who’s Afraid of the Bogeyman?

Four men in a row © DEFA-Stiftun, Heiko Koinzer

Thu, 22.09.2022


Goethe-Institut London

Portraits from an Other Germany:  Programme 1

To begin the season, we will look at some of Misselwitz’s most timely work, filmed in the years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Bulky Trash (1990) the signs of the times are ever present, with protests against the GDR’s leadership forming the tumultuous background against which the four young musicians at the centre of the film live their lives. Through their punk band, Bulky Trash, ideas around youth culture are explored, as well as questions of how young people relate to older generations, and how they view the possibility of German reunification. 

Who’s Afraid of the Bogeyman? (1989) focuses on coal delivery workers, with the female owner of a family coal business at the forefront. Rather than an overly sentimental view of the work they do, we instead gain an understanding of the problems faced by these workers. Misselwitz’s emphasis on their private lives would have previously been considered taboo in East German cinema, not least due to the discussions of alcoholism, suicide and the possibility of escaping to the West. 

NB: "In German, the title of the film refers to a rhyme in a common children’s game with roots in the Middle Ages. Now, and for centuries, it has also had racist overtones. We think the English word 'bogeyman' best parallels and captures the intentions of the director." – DEFA Film Library 2021

This screening will be introduced by Emily Mason. 

Book Tickets Through Eventbrite

Bulky Trash (Sperrmüll)
GDR, 1990, colour, DCP, 78 mins, German with English subtitles. 
Directed by Helke Misselwitz, Screenplay: Gerd Kroske, Helke Misselwitz, Camera: Thomas Plenert, Editing: Gudrun Steinbrück, Sound: Andreas Kaufmann. 

Who is Afraid of the Bogey Man? (Wer fürchtet sich vorm Schwarzen Mann)
GDR, 1989, b/w, DCP (35mm), 52 mins, German with English subtitles. 
Directed by Helke Misselwitz, Screenplay: Helke Misselwitz, Thomas Plenert, Director of Photography: Thomas Plenert, Editing: Gudrun Plenert (= Steinbrück), Music: Brigitte Unterdörfer, Sound: Ronald Gohlke