Virtual Discussion Past as Process: ​Karina Griffith & Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss

Shaping the Past: Past as Process © Goethe-Institut

Sun, 06/27/2021 -
Sat, 07/31/2021

12:00 PM

Past as Process is a program of nine films that trouble the notion of fixed histories.

From Past as Process curator Karina Griffith: "The Gestalt of history is not a figure, it is a process of configuration. This process of shaping the past is sculptural, artistic, and creative, which is why film lends itself so well to our understanding of time and memory."

Part three of Past as Process is called Home Is Where the History Is. This section features two films that depict intimate encounters with family – both those we are born into, and those we create out of close relationships along the way – and how they can rewrite empowering versions of our past, present, and future selves.

Home Is Where the History Is includes the film Return to GO! (Zurück auf LOS!) from GDR-born filmmaker Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss. 
On June 27 at 12:00pm EDT, a pre-recorded dialogue between Karina Griffith and Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss will premiere on the YouTube channel of the Goethe-Institut Washington; it will be available on the Shaping the Past: Past as Process playlist here.

Return to GO! (Zurück auf LOS!) (2000) Dir. Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss
Germany. 95 minutes.
In German with English subtitles.

The 360-tracking shot winding down to a grey intersection shows the approach to time and storytelling in this queer musical. Unlike the one-way street in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg aspiring singer and perpetual party boy Sam lives, time moves in all directions in this tragic comedy. A positive HIV diagnosis makes the past ever present, and the family of friends Sam creates in post-unification Germany prioritizes living in the present tense against all odds.
More Details Karina Griffith © Mikael Owunna Karina Griffith © Mikael Owunna Karina Griffith’s artistic and curatorial practice explore the themes of fear and fantasy, often focusing on how they relate to belonging. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute where her research on Black authorship in German cinema interacts with theories of affect theory, intersectionality and creolization. Griffith holds a lecturer position at the Institute for Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Griffith has recently done curatorial work for the Latitude Festival 2020 and for the Berlinale Forum in 2021.

Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss © Detlef Eden © Detlef Eden Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss was born in East Berlin in 1962. He studied acting at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts and acted in two DEFA films: Verflixtes Mißgeschick!, a film by Hannelore Unterberg, and Coming Out, the groundbreaking film by Heiner Carow that premiered on 9 November 1989—the night the Berlin Wall came down.

Sanoussi-Bliss acted in several films during the 1990s, including director Dorris Dörrie's Keiner Liebt mich. In 2000, he made his directorial debut with Return to GO!. This film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, screened at over sixty international film festivals, and was nominated for a prize at the International Filmfest Emden.

Sanoussi-Bliss lives in Berlin. In addition to continuing to act and direct, he also performs as a voice actor in audio books.

This virtual film program is part of the Goethe-Institut North America's (Institutes and Pop Ups) project Shaping the Past / Gestaltung der Vergangenheit.

Shaping the Past / Gestaltung der Vergangenheit is a project of the Goethe-Instituts and Pop Ups in North America (Canada, USA, and Mexico) that connects with and builds on the work of emerging leaders of local, national, and transnational movements to remember through reflection and with urgency. It is a partnership between the Goethe-Institut, the Monument Lab, and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / bpb).

This program is geoblocked to the USA, Canada, and Mexico.