German Journal Leuchtkraft Publishes Essay by Mariana Ivanova
The latest issue of Leuchtkraft, the annual journal of the Berlin-based DEFA Foundation, published the essay “The Journey as Destination: Frank Beyer’s ‘TAKEN FOR A RIDE’ (1980) and the Search for East German Road Movies” by Mariana Ivanova, associate professor in German and Scandinavian studies and the DEFA Film Library’s academic director.
The text is based on Ivanova’s talk that she gave during the 2022 Berlin conference Testing “Lab: DEFA’s Genre Cinema” and explores the interpretation and reception of the quintessential American Road Movie genre in socialist film industries, especially East German film history.
Ivanova’s research on “TAKEN FOR A RIDE”—a road movie about two young boys of color that was shot in several cities of the U.S., such as New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as in Cuba and Bulgaria—builds on her expertise in East German co-productions and film collaborations that was established with her 2020 monograph, “Cinema of Collaboration: DEFA Co-Productions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe.”
On June 11, “TAKEN FOR A RIDE” will also open the DEFA Film Library’s 11th Biennial Summer Film Institute and accompanying public film festival, “Hidden Figures: Blackness and Black Experiences in East Germany.”