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Reading: Marginalized Subjects, Mainstream Objectives: Insights on Outsiders in Recent German Film

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Research article

Marginalized Subjects, Mainstream Objectives: Insights on Outsiders in Recent German Film

Author:

Nick Hodgin

Sheffield University, GB
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Abstract

Nick Hodgin addresses a series of films collectively known as Ostwind, which was part-financed by the German public broadcast channel, ORB. He considers the producers’ claim that the films in question offer an accurate view of life in eastern Germany that distinguishes them from other media representations.

The article places the films in the context of other representations of eastern Germany in the period since unification and summarizes the contrasting approaches, from popular comedies to sombre non-mainstream accounts. Having briefly outlined some of the themes raised in other films of the series, Hodgin examines in detail those films which focus on the region’s marginalized groups, particularly within youth culture, whether disenfranchised eastern European refugees or resentful neo-Nazi gangs.

Hodgin concludes that, in considering the lives of eastern Germany’s increasingly diverse community without recourse to standard post-unification discourse, the films do indeed mark a shift in the mainstream representation of the east. While these groups have not been absent from filmic portrayals of the east, the tendency has been to depict them according to crude stereotypes. The directors of the Ostwind films, however, tend towards an approach that seeks both to normalize these individuals and to challenge the prevailing view of the east German community.

How to Cite: Hodgin, N. “Marginalized Subjects, Mainstream Objectives: Insights on Outsiders in Recent German Film”. New Readings, vol. 8, 2007, pp. 1—21. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/newreadings.55
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
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