Directors: Matthias Coers, Gertrud Schulte Westenberg, Germany, 2014, 78 min., German with English subtitles
Berlin – In recent years, Germany's capital city has changed rapidly. Apartments long considered unattractive are now being flipped by investors into financial assets. Mass conversions to condominiums and rent increases on an unprecedented scale are becoming commonplace. The visible tenant protests in the dazzling metropolis of Berlin are a reaction to the increasingly inadequate supply of affordable housing.
The film is a kaleidoscope of tenants' struggles in Berlin against displacement from neighborhood living contexts. An occupation of Berlin's city hall, the camp at Kottbusser Tor, organized resistance to evictions and the struggle of pensioners for their age-appropriate apartments, and a leisure center symbolize the new awakening of the urban protest movement.
Matthias Coers – M.A. in sociology, philosophy and literature. Has worked in several areas, e.g. as a photographer. Since 2008 producing videos for common-benefit institutions and creating films. Born 1969 near Osnabrück, lives in Berlin.
Gertrud Schulte Westenberg – Studied education in Bielefeld and economics in Berlin. Works as a project developer in the areas of culture and education and as an independent filmmaker (documentaries and video clips for Internet platforms). Lives in Berlin.
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).