Film Series / Events

Search All Film Series (1999-present)
Browse All Film Series

Topics in Film - Film in the Third Reich: The Power of Images and Illusions

This semester-long series has focused on the Nazi cinema's ability to mobilize emotions and immobilize minds.  In it's first installment, we see two contemporary works that reflect the powers of the dream machine in the service of political ideology.


May 1 (Monday) 9 pm

Lili Marleen

Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Germany 1981, 16mm, color, 120 min.
With Hanna Schygulla, Giancarlo Giannini, Mel Ferrer
German with English subtitles

Following The Marriage of Maria Braun, Fassbinder created another picture of life in Nazi Germany, focusing on a woman who is both participant in and victim of the life of her times. Schygulla portrays the singer whose famous rendition of the song “Lili Marleen” became as popular with the besieged and dying troops of Germany as it did with those on the Soviet side. This lush and incisive production both critiques and sympathizes with the state of mind of common people who are subject to powerful cultural forces.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top

May 9 (Tuesday) 9 pm

East Side Story

Directed by Dana Ranga
Germany 1997, 35mm, b/w and color, 78 min.
With Chris Doerk, Erich Gusko, Karin Schroder
German/Russian/Polish/Romanian/Bulgarian/Czech with English subtitles

A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, East Side Story is an exploration of a previously undiscovered genre of Soviet-bloc production in the 1950s and 1960s: the socialist movie musical—part Stalin, part Beach Blanket Bingo. Through the presentation of numerous clips, this compilation proves that humor and extravagance really were a part of the allegedly gray and bleak terrain of Eastern European culture of the time. Was it all done for propaganda purposes? Does it reveal a vein of hope and desire running against the grain? Should we re-evaluate East European socialism? Come and see.

Browse Other Series from this Season
Return to Top
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700