Film CINEMARX: Short Films from East Germany

Short Films © DEFA-Stiftung - Manfred Henke, Werner Baensch Short Films © DEFA-Stiftung - Manfred Henke, Werner Baensch

Thu, 05/17/2018

Goethe-Institut Washington

1990 K St. NW (Entrance on 20th St., lower level)
Washington, DC 20006

CINEMARX: Films about Marx from the GDR to the Present Day

Vanessa Wills, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the George Washington University, will give an introduction to the films.

Marx Family (Marx Familie)
GDR, 1988, 18 Min., Director: Helke Misselwitz, Color, Documentary

A moving short portrait of Karl Marx’s family and their living conditions during their time in London.

In the same year that she produced this short film for the DEFA studio’s experimental documentary Kinobox series, Helke Misselwitz (b. 1947, Zwickau) received notoriety for her full length documentary on women in the GDR, Winter Áde.

Dear Mohr – Personal Memories of Karl Marx from Paul Lafargue (Lieber Mohr – Persönliche Erinnerungen an Karl Marx von Paul Lafargue)
GDR, 1972, ca. 20 Min., Director: Bruno J. Böttge, Color, Animation

The film shows a humorous take on moments from the life of Karl Marx over the course of a quarter century.

One of Germany’s foremost silhouette animators after Lotte Reiniger, Bruno J. Böttge (b. 1925) brings his talents to these historic figures in this film using hand-cut and painted elements.

Love Letters (Liebesbriefe)
GDR, 1982, 21 Min., Director: Uwe Belz, 21 Min., Color, Documentary

Citations from love letters and poems written between Karl Marx and his fiancée Jenny von Westphalen during their teenage years are combined with images, paintings, and beautiful, atmospheric landscapes of places connected to Marx.

Uwe Belz (b. 1937, Berlin) was one of the most productive East German filmmakers, creating more than 150 films in his lifetime. In this work, he draws his attention towards viewing Marx from an alternative perspective, showing the emotional and romantic sides of the historical figure.

A Young Man Named Engel – A Portrait in Letters (Ein junger Mann namens Engels – Ein Porträt in Briefen)
GDR, 1970, ca. 20 Min., Director: Katja Georgi, Color, Animation

With the young Friedrich Engel’s letters and drawings from the years between 1838 and 1842, a unique cinematic portrait is created. The viewer thus gets to know the young Engels personally, learning about the significant moments of his development from a bourgeois-liberal upbringing to the theoretical partner of Karl Marx.

Focus is turned towards Engels in this animated film from Katja Georgi (b. 1928, Lengefeld), which would later be awarded the Gold Dove at the International Leipzig Documentary and Short Film Week.

This event is part of the CINEMARX film series and part of Marx Now, a series of events in the month of May organized by the Goethe-Institut Washington in partnership with DC LaborFest.