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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab - Neue Lehre. Neues Lernen

Berlin Films

Taught by Dr. Stefanie Rinke

Starts 20.10. / Thursday, 10:00 - 12:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Language requirements: min. English B1, German B1



Course Description

A lot of films are made in Berlin, but not every film could be called a „Berlin Film“. A film is a Berlin Film, so the definition in class, when the film shows special places of Berlin, when it shows a particular life-style or specific historical, cultural or political events. Only Berlin Films construct the identity of the metropole Berlin and are part of the thick space of a metropole: are intermingled in (imaginary) city relations.

In the seminar we discuss and analyse, why a film is a Berlin Film and deconstruct its position in the relation network between real place and imagination. We will not study documentaries, only motion pictures from the years 1920s until today.

The films will be available for all students in a handset in the Grimm-Zentrum (media center) and the texts and handouts via moodle.


The in-class courses will be in room 323 (Hausvogteiplatz 5-7), thursday 10 c.t. to 12 c.t.

(c.t. stands for cum tempore (with time) meaning the class starts at 10.15 h; s.t. stands for sine tempore (without time)


Course requirements 

  • Active participation in class discussions and field trips, punctuality. (20% of final class valuation)
  • Watching the films and doing the readings in advance of the respective classes as assigned below and preparing two discussion questions on each film or reading. I collect these questions in class. (20% of final class valuation)
  • Participation in a short student presentation in class to introduce one of the relevant films. Choice of topic should be checked with the instructor in advance. (30% of final class valuation)
  • Three short written assignments: three film essays of about one page. (Written work can be submitted in English or German) (30% of final class valuation)
  • Attendance Policy: You may not miss more than 2 sessions. If you do know you have to miss a class, let me know in advance and we can arrange a make-up task, if necessary. In the case of illness or other unforeseen situations, do e-mail me as soon as possible. I would also require some written confirmation of the emergency. Do become familiar with public transport in Berlin and work out in advance how to get to the sites. Transportation difficulties are not an excuse for an absence. It is the students’ responsibility to get to the sites on time.
  • Plagiarism Policy: The presentation of another person’s words, thoughts, ideas, judgements, images or data as though they were your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, constitutes an act of plagiarism. The penalty for this is failure of the course.


Language Skills

The language in class will be English and German (bilingual seminar). But we will try to speak as much German in class as we can, to improve the German language skills. English will be Lingua franca.

The texts will be, if possible, in German and English. The short presentations and the essay could be in English or German. The films will be in German with English Subtitles.

German Level B1 and English Level B1