Diversity in Germany Film Series

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Diversity in Germany Film Series
With generous support by the German Embassy in Washington

This year, the German Department Film Series will be a little different—in response to social distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines and with generous support of the German Embassy's campus weeks program, we have decided to transition to an online streaming model with three unique options for students. First, we have a series of thematically linked movies available on our website, all centering around the experience of diversity in Germany. Second, students will have the option of participating in a synchronous screening of the German series Unorthodox and subsequent discussion via a Netflix viewing party. Finally, students may view any German film available for free through the Seattle Public Libraries.

Diversity in Germany Curated Series

All films may be found at sites.google.com… and streamed free of charge. The titles are only available on the site through autumn quarter. A UW NetID is required to access.

Angst essen Seele auf—a 1974 West German film depicting the love and prejudice experienced by a German woman and a Moroccan migrant worker finding romance in post-WWII Germany.

4 Blocks—a 2017-2019 TV series. Berlin crime boss attempts to become a legitimate businessman.

Die Fremde—a 2010 drama telling the story of a young Turkish-German mother's struggle for self-determination between two systems of values.

Almanya—a 2011 tragic comedy dramatizing the question of identity and belonging for former Turkish guest workers in Germany and their descendants.

Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark—a 2014 drama depicting reenactments and accounts of real xenophobic riots and mob attacks against migrants that took place in Lichtenhagen in 1992.

Unorthodox Netflix Viewing Party

Released in 2020, Unorthodox is a German-American miniseries and the first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish. It is inspired by Deborah Feldman's autobiography, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.

Esty, a 19-year-old Jewish woman, is living unhappily in an arranged marriage among an
ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn, NYC. She runs away to Berlin, where her estranged
mother lives, and tries to navigate a secular life, discovering life outside her community
and rejecting all of the beliefs she grew up with. Her husband, who learns that she is pregnant,
travels to Berlin with his cousin, by order of their rabbi, to try to find her.

Students will get 25 extra credits for taking part in the whole Netflix party!

10/29 2:30pm Netflix Party: Series Unorthodox Episode 1

10/05 2:30pm Netflix Party: Series Unorthodox Episode 2

11/12 2:30pm Netflix Party: Series Unorthodox Episode 3

11/19 2:30pm Netflix Party: Series Unorthodox Episode 4

To access free movies via Seattle Public Libraries

First, you will need to create a user account and obtain a library card/library account number. This is a free service to most anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in King county, and all you need is a photo ID and proof of address, employment, or student enrollment displaying a King county address. You can find the library card application form at https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-started/get-started-with-a-library-card/library-card-application.

Once you have set up a library account, you can find a number of German films on Hoopla Video, all free to watch with your library account. In order to access them, you must sign in with your library card from your desktop browser or download the Hoopla mobile app for iOS or Android. You will be able to stream up to 15 videos per month, with no wait, and your access to the videos expires automatically after 72 hours. The German film content can be found by going to the Hoopla Video homepage, located at https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/movie, and selecting “German” in the language filter on the left-hand side of the page. You can turn on English subtitles in the settings menu when streaming the film.

Naturally, only German movies are eligible for extra credit in our classes. In order to receive extra credit, please submit to your instructor a brief (read: paragraph or two) personal response to the film. To be clear, we are NOT looking for a plot summary—you must react to the film and share your thoughts and opinions about it. Each film or screening is worth 5 points, and you can receive a maximum of 25 bonus points in this manner.