Film screening

German Movie Nights: Love, Deutschmarks and Death

Love, Deutschmarks and Death


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German, Turkish with English subtitles
Price: Free
+1 212 4398700 Registration required

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The German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of Cem Kaya’s award-winning documentary Love, Deutschmarks and Death at the Goethe-Institut New York, followed by a conversation between the director and Sukhdev Sandhu, Director of the Center for Experimental Humanities at New York University. Please register to attend.

The Federal Republic of Germany’s 1961 recruitment agreement with Turkey not only brought workers and their families to Germany, but also their music. Cem Kaya’s fascinating documentary film essay is a tutorial in recent Turkish-German history that tells a tale of assembly line jobs, homesickness and family reunification, xenophobia and racism, wistful songs and hip hop, featuring prominently the long-lost bazaar in the elevated train station at Berlin Bülowstraße. Famous musicians most of us have never heard about, from the old-school singers Metin Türköz and Yüksel Özkasap, to the psychedelic band Derdiyoklar and the chart-topping rapper Muhabbet take us along. This is the world of Radio Yilmaz, the music cassette business, protest rocker Cem Karaca’s exile, and wedding bands that also sing in Kurdish and Arabic to meet the demands of the market.

Based on extensive archival research, Cem Kaya’s vibrant film details the vast body of music produced by and for the Turkish diaspora in Germany starting in the 1960s, and its influence on subsequent generations. Love, Deutschmarks and Death presents “an absorbing, rarely heard musical history” (Sheffield DocFest), “a rhythmic and vividly narrated cinematic encyclopedia of Turkish music in Germany” (Berlinale).

Love, Deutschmarks and Death has won multiple awards including the Goethe-Institut’s Documentary Film Award and is nominated for Best Documentary at the upcoming German Film Awards.

World premiere: Berlin International Film Festival

“[A] multifaceted, stirring portrait of multiple generations that addresses a little-known cultural heritage along with questions of participation and identity in a changing country. Nothing short of a milestone in music historiography.” (epd Film)

Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm
Dir. Cem Kaya
Germany, 2022
96 minute

Cem Kaya is a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker of Turkish descent, with a quirky interest in found-footage work. Coming from the field of cultural studies, in his films he combines humorous storytelling with deep background knowledge. Before moving into documentary filmmaking, he worked as a producer, editor, and director of commercials and music videos. His film Remake, Remix, Rip-Off  (2014) about the Turkish Yesilçam film industry and its remakes of Hollywood blockbusters for the domestic market premiered at Locarno. He worked as cinematographer on Forensic Architecture’s investigative documentary 77sqm_9:26min (2017) about the National Socialist Underground’s murder of Halit Yozgat, which premiered at documenta 14.

Sukhdev Sandhu is the Director of the Center for Experimental Humanities and Associate Professor of English and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, the author of Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night (winner of 2008 DH Lawrence International Prize for Travel Writing). He makes radio documentaries for the BBC, runs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University, and is a film critic (he was named Critic of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2005). His writings have appeared in publications including the London Review of Books, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Du, The Wire, Sight and Sound, Bidoun, Gastronomica, The Australian, Modernism/Modernity, New York, The Guardian, and Times Literary Supplement.