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Representations of East German masculinity in Hannes Stöhr’s Berlin is in Germany and Andreas Kleinert’s Wege in die Nacht

Clarke, David 2002. Representations of East German masculinity in Hannes Stöhr’s Berlin is in Germany and Andreas Kleinert’s Wege in die Nacht. German Life and Letters 55 (4) , pp. 434-449. 10.1111/1468-0483.00239

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Abstract

Given that, at least in economic terms, the women of the former GDR are often described as the ‘losers’ of the unification process, it may seem surprising that the two films examined in this article should focus on the difficulties of men in coming to terms with the process of social transformation which followed the ‘Wende’ in the new federal states. Berlin is in Germany (2001), by the West German born Hannes Stöhr, and Wege in die Nacht (1999), by East German director Andreas Kleinert, both portray the difficulties of East German men in maintaining a masculine identity in the unified Germany. However, in Stöhr’s film the GDR regime is shown to be responsible for the male protagonist’s initial loss of masculine authority, which the capitalism of the unified Germany ultimately allows him to regain. Kleinert’s film, however, portrays its central figure as a representative of a specifically East German model of masculinity which is now being undermined by the capitalist system. Whilst these films recall to an extent the crises of masculinity which accompanied the end of the First and Second World Wars, they reflect specifically on the process of ‘innere Einheit’ as the take–over of one patriarchal social order by another.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
ISSN: 1468-0483
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2019 13:00
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/118696

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