East German Filmmaker Peter Kahane to Visit Five College Area Oct. 16-19 for Retrospective of his Work

Peter Kahane (Christa Kofer photo)
Peter Kahane (Christa Kofer photo)

AMHERST, Mass. – Peter Kahane, one of the few East German filmmakers who continued working as a director and scriptwriter after German unification in 1990, will visit the Five College area Oct. 16-19 to present a film series titled “Test the Limits: The Films of Peter Kahane.”

According to theorganizers of the event, “Kahanecreates remarkablestories about the lives of young people who confront the limitations set by society, family and daily life… and find solutions that empower them, to explore their feelings, dreams and ideas.” The retrospective features four films that show different sides of the versatile director’s work over nearly 25 years. Kahane will answer audience questions after each screening. All films are in German with English subtitles and the screenings are free and open to the public.

Local screenings will include a special 35mm screening at Amherst Cinemaof the director’s most politically critical and best-known film,“The Architects”(1990), about a young, creative architect who has to deal with official conservative design ideas. The film will be shown on Monday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Skyler Arndt-Briggs of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst will introduce the film.

Kahane’s only documentary, “Tamara”(2007), about the rebellious East German rock icon Tamara Danz—which recently screened at the Berlin International Film Festival—will be shown Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in S240 Integrative Learning Center at UMass Amherst. Sara Jackson, German and Scandinavian studies at UMass Amherst, will give the introduction.

Amherst College’s German Film Festival will present “Ready for Life” (1987), a bittersweet comedy drama about teenagers in East Germany in the 1980s. Christian Rogowski of Amherst College will introduce the film.

Five College community members will also have the chance to stream the prizewinning coming-of-age story “Ete And Ali” (1984) via Kanopy on their library websites.

During his U.S. visit, Kahane will also present his films at the New Haven Free Public Library (Oct. 21), University of West Georgia (Oct. 23-24), Trinity College (Oct. 26), George Eastman House (Oct. 28), MIT (Oct. 30-Nov. 1), Boston Latin School (Oct. 31) and Deutsches Haus at New York University (Nov. 3).

The retrospective is made possible by the following partners: UMass Arts Council; DEFA Film Library, German and Scandinavian studies, print services, Amherst College department of German, Mount Holyoke College department of German studies.

Support for the tour comes from New Haven Free Public Library, Trinity College, George Eastman House, University of Rochester; MIT, Boston Latin School, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the University of West Georgia.

Other supporters include DEFA-Stiftung, PROGRESS Filmverleih, Amherst Cinema Arts Center, Emily’s Amherst B&B; durchblickreisen, and zenon design.