As a part of the Goethe-Institut North America’s Queer as German Folk
series – in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Uprising as a milestone in the fight for gender diversity and equality – the Goethe-Institut Washington and its many local project partners have selected a number of culturally- and historically-significant films from Germany and North America, highlighting various aspects of queer rights movements. We present Kino-Q
, a film series that guides viewers through parts of this history, paired with expert-led discussions.
Ticket of No Return (Bildnis einer Trinkerin)
West Germany, 1979, 108 min., Director and screenplay: Ulrike Ottinger
An introduction to the film will be provided by Dr. Hester Baer, Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland. A discussion will follow.
Glamorous, silent, and nameless, an enigmatic and impeccably-dressed young French woman (Tabea Blumenschein) purchases a one-way ticket from Paris to West Berlin. Her goal is simple: to drink, perhaps even until she drops dead. Perpetually drunk, she wanders through the odd landscape of the city, moving through the seedy bars and decrepit spaces around Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten. She encounters, befriends, and develops relationships with fellow bizarre characters, especially a homeless woman who pushes a shopping cart filled with her bags around the city. Together, they get thrown out of luxury restaurants, share bottles of expensive wine, and turn a glitzy apartment into a dump.
We encourage all guests to arrive early. Any open seats may be released to walk-up visitors 10 minutes before the program.
Director Ulrike Ottinger
was born in Konstanz in 1942 to journalist Maria Weinberg and painter Ulrich Ottinger. Initially set on a path to become a banker, Ottinger attended the Academy of Arts in Munich at 17, where she was a visiting student and worked as a painter. After working as a freelance artist in Paris during the 1960s, Ottinger retured to West Germany and began focusing on filmmaking. At this time, she met Tabea Blumenschein, an actress, director, and musician who became Ottinger’s muse and girlfriend. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Ottinger developed her own distinct style of surrealist, nonlinear storytelling through films like Ticket of No Return, Madame X: An Absolute Ruler (Madame X – Eine absolute Herrscherin)
, and Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press (Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse)
. Ottinger continues to make feature films, short films, and documentaries. She has been based in Berlin since 1973.
Discussion moderator Dr. Hester Baer
is Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Baer is also the Graduate Director in Germanic Studies, a core faculty member in Film Studies and Comparative Literature, and an affiliate faculty member in Women’s Studies. She co-edits the journal Feminist German Studies
. Her research interests focus on gender and sexuality in film and media; historical and contemporary feminisms; environmental humanities; and German literature and culture in the 21st Century. She is the author of Dismantling the Dream Factory: Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language
(Berghahn Books, 2009). Baer is also a project leader of the Digital Feminist Collective, a research commons focusing on digital feminisms.
Presented in partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.