The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta at HOME

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta at HOME Manchester, Manchester 10 — 17 January 2019 Tickets from £5.5 — Book now

In association with the Independent Cinema Office, HOME present a season of films by influential German filmmaker and first female director to win the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, Margarethe von Trotta. Notable for chronicling the political turbulence of the ‘70s from a firmly feminist perspective, von Trotta’s work focuses on women as revolutionaries, as political figures and violent beings, but she also documents their economic struggles and familial relationships.

The director emerged with the New German Cinema, but her work is often overlooked in favour of contemporaries such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. In presenting these three films as part of the year long initiative, Celebrating Women in Global Cinema, HOME’s season goes a little way towards readjusting the canon by nudging adventurous filmgoers towards von Trotta’s rich body of work.

The season opens on Thursday 10 January with an informal introductory session designed to orientate viewers unfamiliar von Trotta or her socio-political context. Jackie Stacey, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Manchester will chair a panel of experts including Erica Carter, Professor of German and Film at King’s College London; Cathy Gelbin, Professor of Film and German Studies, University of Manchester; and Maggie Hoffgen MA, freelance film lecturer and programmer.

The Second Awakening of Christa Klages

From there, there’s an opportunity to dive right in with a screening of von Trotta’s 1978, solo directorial debut, The Second Awakening of Christa Klages. Introduced by Erica Carter, the film follows a young woman who robs a bank to pay for her daughter’s daycare. She goes on the run, pursued by the police and the young woman she held hostage in the raid. The film was shot on a tiny budget, but manages to combine its genre plotting with issues of social interest whilst responding to the events surrounding the Baader-Meinhof Gang — a topic von Trotta would revisit repeatedly.

On Wednesday 16 January, HOME present The German Sisters, von Trotta’s 1980 account of the real life Enslein sisters, who took divergent paths in their quests for political change in West Germany. Juliane (Jutta Lampe) works as a feminist journalist, arguing for abortion rights but is left to reckon with the realities of the power of the state following the arrest of her sister Marianne (Barbara Sukowa), a terrorist revolutionary in a Baader-Meinhof style group. The film marks von Trotta’s first collaboration with Sukowa, who she’d go on to cast another six times.

Finally, Thursday 17 January sees a screening of Rosa Luxemburg, von Trotta’s 1986 biopic of the Marxist revolutionary murdered in Berlin in 1919. The film started off as a project for fellow New German Cinema director Fassbinder, but von Trotta took over following his death in 1982. Casting regular collaborator Sukowa as Luxemburg, the biopic delves beyond her actions as a political figure to chart the realities of her personal and moral journey.

The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta at HOME Manchester, Manchester 10 — 17 January 2019 Tickets from £5.5 Book now

What's on at HOME Manchester

Frankie Goes to Bollywood at HOME
Frankie Goes to Bollywood at HOME

Dazzling costumes, extravagant choreography and pulsating British Bollywood pop, Rifco’s ambitious new musical comes to Manchester this May.

from £22.20

Where to go near The Personal is Political – The Films of Margarethe von Trotta at HOME

Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Event venue

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

What's on: Cinema

CinemaCheetham Hill
Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

free entry
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum: A photograph showing a theatre stage. On the right side we can see a woman in a pink hijab with a travel bag in her hand. She has a yellow star pinned to her black blouse. She looks concerned. In the background there is a group of 5 musicians playing medieval instruments.
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum

Be transported back to 15th-century Andalucia for a screening of a concert play tackling stories around integration, love, heritage and racial identity. Part of Manchester Jewish Museum’s Synagogue Scratch Season.

from £10.00

Culture Guides

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.