German (Hi)stories: Short fillm programme

Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride
Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride

DE 2020, 20 min, Language: German, Subtitles: English, Directed by: Maroan el Sani, Nina Fischer

Appropriation Takes You on a Weird Ride investigates the strange German enthusiasm for Native Americans in relation to contemporary racism and its deep colonial roots.
This fascination, especially with regard to the construction of a german identity, has a rather frightening than impressive chronology: it begins with the first-century Germanic Cherusci chieftan Arminius and stretches to the adventure novels of Karl May and the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows in the 1800s, through the ethnographic exhibitions (Völkerschauen) in zoos and circuses and founding of “Indian clubs” at the turn of the twentieth century, onward to the appropriation of Indigenous identities by Nazi ideologists, up until the present day, when new rightwing groups have developed an unsettling identification with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

Hotel Astoria
Hotel Astoria

DE 2020, 28 min, Language: German, Subtitles: English, Directed by: Alina Cyranek, Falk Schuster

Leipzig, 1996. The receptionist shows the White Suite at the Hotel Astoria. She says she still has hope that a guardian angel will save the Astoria. But seven years after the fall of the Wall, the curtain also falls on the legendary hotel. Political change of the late 1980s was also felt at the Astoria. Memories of this exclusive place are brought to life through a mixture of archive material and animation. We learn about the hard work in hospitality and the absurdities of everyday life in the GDR, about turtle soup in a country that was known for an economy of scarcity, and about the hotel bar where prostitutes, tourists, and Stasi agents had their drinks. These contradictions are also reflected in the statements of the staff and guests. Some recall a culture of fear, while others describe it as the best time of their lives. The film shows that different historical experiences can coexist – that‘s where you find the grey areas between propaganda and reality. Because truth is a matter of opinion.


DE 2021, 22 min, n, Language: German, Subtitles: English, Directed by: Moritz Siebert

Gerson Liebl, grandson of a German colonial official from Togo, has been fighting to obtain German citizenship for the last 30 years. As a last resort, he decides to go on hunger strike. The images of his unswerving perseverance in front of Berlin’s Red Town Hall are accompanied by statements, testimonies, legal texts, political positions and excuses – then and now.