The Goethe Institute’s Film Neu

RBFAA Supports the Goethe Institut’s German Film Festival Opening Night

On Thursday, November 2nd Goethe Institut celebrated the opening night of the 25th Film Neu festival, a program that brings new German-language films over the course of four days to audiences in Washington, DC. To deliver the program, the Goethe Institute has partnered with E-Street Cinema, which provides the venue in the center of Washington, DC. The opening night of Film Neu features one of the central new films, followed by a discussion with the director followed by a reception. The Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association (RBFAA) co-sponsored this opening night event, contributing $500 towards the opening night reception.

This year’s opening night featured a screening of The Young Karl Marx, a drama taking place in Paris, Brussels and London in 1844. The film, focusing on the life of Karl Marx and his friendship with Friedrich Engels, highlighted how the two labor movement leaders, both from very different backgrounds formed a lifelong partnership to create the theoretical foundation for the Communist movement in Europe.

As the director of the film, Raoul Peck, was unable to come to Washington DC, the subsequent discussion was led by a moderator from the Goethe Institute and Dr. Katrin Sieg, a professor of German and European Studies at Georgetown University with expertise in German film and theater. Dr. Sieg and the moderator engaged the audience in a lively discussion on the complexities that the film revealed about the time period and Marx and Engels’ journey towards creating the Communist League.  Also discussed was the role of family in both men’s lives, including the contradiction between Marx’s rather conventional family life and his theoretical beliefs. Many of the viewers in the audience had prior knowledge of the time period and of Marxism, and were able to contribute to the discussion. Some also drew the interesting connection between the unrest of Marx and Engels’ time to today’s struggles with globalization and the decline of manufacturing jobs.

During the discussion, the moderator was careful to note the contribution of the RBFAA to the event, and the discussion was followed by a reception with beverages and German food.

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