MARGARETHE VON TROTTA. CINEMA COMMITTED TO DISSIDENCE
From the Mostra Internacional de Films de Dones Barcelona, we would also like to add our voice to the tribute that ZINEBI is paying this year to the filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta for her undeniable contribution to highlight women’s experience in History and for the impetus that her work has given to the new female filmmakers.
Thanks to her films, we have been able to be part of a shift away from the centrality of male characters when dealing with highly important political and social issues. Von Trotta has given a voice, time, space and, ultimately, film presence to the dissident form that women’s experience often takes in that regard. Even in her first film, co-directed with Volker Schlöndorff, Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, 1975), there was a categorical and still valid criticism of the media assault aimed at intimidating women from exercising their freedom. In Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages (The Second Awakening of Christa Klages, 1978), her first solo film, the surprising denouement again highlights the complicity of gender. Of course, her acclaimed Die bleierne Zeit (The German Sisters, 1981) is one of the most overwhelming criticisms of the complicity of the main characters. The works are all woven with strands to make, from different time scenarios, a patchwork of unexpected gestures as a way of manifesting this other way of portraying and empowering the dissident women’s experience. The same strands are also used in the way of addressing the treatment in her works dedicated to rescuing key historical figures of cultural and political thought, such as biopics Rosa Luxemburg (Rosa Luxemburgo, 1986), Vision – Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen (Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen, 2009) and Hannah Arendt (2012). Films that clearly expand and give new meaning to the value of a committed, broad and essential cultural legacy. We can thus recognise ourselves in different accounts of our past and present, disown the alienation ensuing from a past seen from a dominant androcentrism and shrug off that feeling of being orphans resulting from the still lukewarm presence of contradictory, complex and strong female models on the screens.
Marta Selva/Anna Solà