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Page 1 of 15 Title: Irrelevant Borders? Central and Southern European Immigrants
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Article Submission to UN Omaha ESC 2005 Conference Proceedings
Irrelevant Borders? Central and Southern European Immigrants
in Recent German Film
Daniel C. Villanueva, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of German
Department of Foreign Languages
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
WorkAddress: University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 455047
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5047
(702) 895-1688
(702) 895-1226
[email protected]
Irrelevant Borders? Central and Southern European Immigrants in Recent German Film
Günter Grass concluded a speech before a plenary session of the Council of Europe in 2000
with the thought that Sinti and Roma “…know no borders. Gypsies (Zigeuner) are at home everywhere
in Europe. They are that which we pretend to be: Born Europeans.”1 Grass defines “Europeans” as
those whose economic, social and political networks do not respect national political borders and who
evade national law-enforcement mechanisms. It is a controversial yet constructive image given the
recent debates over a European constitution, and over where a unified European Union’s borders
should be fixed. As Inga Scharf has noted, national cinema “…can be regarded as a specifically
symbolic system which serves as an important means of cultural (re-)production including…elements
of the geopolitical realm.”2 Germany’s existence as an emerging multicultural nation, and one no
longer on the eastern frontier of the EU has led Jacques Rupnik to ask, “Will Germany be a bridge
between the two Europes…or turn them into a German sphere of influence? (Rupnik 1991, p. 265). As
“Central Europe as a theme has been inextricably intertwined with debates over German identity” (Judt
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1991, p. 42), representation of of borders, immigration and cultural hegemony cannot be ignored in
recent German film.
Fatih Akin’s kurz und schmerzlos (Short Sharp Shock, 1998), Lichter (Distant Lights) by HansChristian Schmid (2003), and Akin’s Gegen die Wand (Head-on, 2004) are three recent film responses
resonating with the intellectual interventions above. They trace reunified Germany’s culturally
geostrategic position and derive their dynamics from both inter- and intracultural interactions between
distinct, non-German European ethnicities. Though they can be considered representative of various
German film genres (Ghettofilme, Immigrantenkino, Großstadtfilme, etc.) they simultaneously
represent distinct departures from the predominant narrative “German-Other” structure in films dealing
with immigrant populations. 3 Likewise, they challenge traditional interpretations of multicultural
identity formation in post-Wall and post-war film landscapes of the Federal Republic.4
Regardless of genre, postwar German films with minorities as protagonists relied primarily on
symbiotic interactions between characters representing the dominant German culture and its ethnic
immigrant populations. Clear social and political borders were demarcated, modes of cooperation were
negotiated and the power and perspective often remained with the dominant German culture. As
Cheesman characterized the literary output of two key representatives of Turkish-German life and
letters (Dursun Akçam and Feridun Zaimo_lu) between 1982 and 1995, the dominant tone was a mix
of “resignation, despair and anger at their experiences of German majority society” (Cheesman 2002,
195). Certainly, some postwar German filmmakers depicted cultural minorities and immigrant
populations as active, sympathetic protagonists. Examples of this include Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s
Ali: Fear eats the Soul (1973), Helma Sanders-Brahms’ Shirin’s Wedding (1975), Tevfik Baser’s
Goodbye to a False Paradise (1988) and Hark Bohm’s Yasemin (1988). Yet these films’ narratives
were driven primarily by portrayals of characters’ interactions with, or conscious opposition to, the
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dominant German culture. The postwar “culture clash” paradigm generally relied either on
immigrants’ inability to relate to facets of the majority German social, religious or economic culture,
or Germans’ unwillingness to accept the reality of minority cultures in the Federal Republic.
Narratives were often driven by bipolar interactions (German-Turkish, German-Moroccan, Turkish
male-female) and intercultural encounters to drive their stories forward. Also, these tended to address
“a hegemonic viewership by evoking the viewer’s pity and sympathy, emotions which essentially
affirm and perpetuate the static Manichaean configuration of oppressor and oppressed.”5 This was
disrupted only rarely prior to 1989, most notably by Baser’s 40 m2 Deutschland (1986), whose
protagonists are almost exclusively Turkish and whose narrative parameters remain squarely within
intra-cultural Turkish immigrant experiences.6
Fatih Akin’s 1998 debut feature film kurz und schmerzlos (Short Sharp Shock) arrived in
German cinemas the same year as did Lola rennt, and though it did not capture the same amount of
audience interest at the time, its relevance for German film studies has steadily increased.7 It has been
described as a “ghettocentric action film” (Mennel 2002, 147) and a “pacey and violent multikulti
gangster movie” (Copsey 2002, 241) and won several important German and European awards. The
plot takes place in the lower-income, criminal milieu of Hamburg’s ethnically vibrant Altona district,
and enjoys genre affinities with the Großstadtfilm and Immigrantenkino. At the same time, Akin is not
simply content with aping either New German Cinema’s language of victimization or creating a
commercially successful film. As Rentschler puts it, the director of Short Sharp Shock and others have
“an ability to illuminate a darker world and to bring to light less obvious and for that reason more
provocative perspectives” (Rentschler 2000, 275). Within the first five minutes of kurz und schmerzlos,
all three main characters are visibly stamped in a freeze-frame shot with their representative nonGerman ethnicities: “Costa, Greek; Bobby, Serb; Gabriel, Turk.”8 Immediately, however, the pursuits
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of money, power and love so typical of gangster films cause these national details to fade into the
background as the characters work together to pursue criminal goals and amorous dreams.
With Turkish pop-music playing in the background at a wedding celebration, Akin’s characters
playfully reference both the Buddha and Gandhi, ensuring additional multicultural grounding with no
obvious bias toward the majority German culture save that the dialogue itself is in German. The spatial
ties we see to the foreigners’ adopted Hamburg-Altona Kiez lend the film an “urban Heimat” aesthetic
(Ludewig 2000), serving to reinforce the hybrid cultural environment in which the film takes place.9
Only the main character, Gabriel, never fully succumbs to the culturally integrative force of money and
power, and dreams of returning to Turkey now that he has been released from prison. As he puts it in
one of the rare moments when his tough gangster façade is dropped, “I don’t know anyone here on the
outside…there (in Turkey) I have friends.”
Representations of the majority German culture are few and far between in this film. Ethnic
Germans, and for that matter the power of the German state, are shown to be at worst passive and at
best enabling to the small-time criminals. The film’s first scene shows a German car being vandalized
by Bobby the Serb, one of the main characters. As its German owner returns, Bobby asks him if he
needs help, and needless to say escapes any prosecution. Costa the Greek finds employment at the
German Postal Service only to steal the contents of the mail. He decides to stop not because he is
caught or because of the state’s monopoly of force, but because the crucifix in one of the packages he
opens tugs on his conscience. Both the powers of the state and the private, self-regulating legal
economy are manipulated by Gabriel as he drives his taxi with a stolen license. The “Albanian,”
ironically the representative from the most economically backward country in Europe, pulls all the
financial strings, while the German financial presence is represented by a female figure (Alice), or a
male love interest for Gabriel’s sister (whose car gets stolen by Costa), a man who needs to use the
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phone and is beaten by Gabriel, etc. All are subordinated to the power, guile and needs of the main
non-German characters.
What motivations are there which contribute to this criminal yet ironically often peaceful
multiethnic cooperative biotope? One motivation is clearly love, and by extension, a multicultural,
ethnically-blind aesthetic. The emotional feelings of betrayal are shown to hurt as badly for Costa the
Greek who loses his Turkish girlfriend, as for Bobby the Serb who is in danger of losing his German
wife. Neither relationship is ended due to any specific ethnic tension, but to the personal weaknesses of
each character which we as viewers can universally appreciate. Gabriel covers for his Turkish-German
sister, who was dating a Greek and now is interested in an ethnic German. He himself is shown to be
attracted to Alice, Bobby the Serb’s German wife, not because of her ethnicity, but her essential good
heart. No ethnic German prejudice, or indeed any of the myriad potentials for ethnic prejudice in Short
Sharp Shock, stand in the way of their happiness. Gabriel ends the relationship and returns to Turkey
partially because of the universal moral sanction inherent in his original motives: His initial affair with
her, a married woman, was wrong according to a universal morality.
The main influence overcoming the otherwise quite potent centripetal forces present in
German, Turkish, Serb, Albanian and Greek ethnicities is the common pursuit of money and power in
Hamburg-Altona. As Bobby the Serb puts it when offering his services to a powerful Albanian
criminal (Muhamet) in the neighborhood, “That’s what you call multiculturalism nowadays.” To which
Muhamet replies, “My mother always told me never to confide in a Serb.” In that same scene, Bobby
is asked to beat up a gypsy to prove his loyalty to Muhamet, but Bobby enlists three Turks to do his
dirty work for him. This Balkan solidarity is bought solely on chicanery and a lust for money. Indeed,
when Bobby is forced to make a choice in a restaurant between love (his German girlfriend is repulsed
by Muhamet) and money (Muhamet wants to make a deal with him), money trumps both ideology and
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ethnicity. He allows his wife to leave the restaurant and dooms his relationship with her from that point
on. But Akin presents us here not with a traditional Turkish-German, ethnically-based reason for their
relationship’s end. Rather, the genre’s universal call of one big deal, one large jackpot to be made
motivates the characters in this scene. Ethnicity is irrelevant and ethnic German influence is absentthey are even in an Italian restaurant!
Only when the pursuit of money is no longer the main motivation of the male characters in
Short Sharp Shock do we see more explicitly “national” cultural differentiations returning. These were
always below the surface, as the dialogue in the film continually reinforces: Gabriel covering for his
sister when she dated both Greeks and Germans, Muhamet going against his mother’s advice and
confiding in a Serb, Bobby telling Muhamet that his father “worked him like a Neger,” etc. Costa’s
desire to kill Muhamet for his cold-blooded execution of Bobby is certainly motivated in part by
revenge and personal loss, but his dialogue and facial expressions also indicate that Muhamet’s
ethnicity will allow him to enjoy his death on a primordial tribal level as well. At the end of the film
when Gabriel prays together with his father shortly before his departure for Turkey, the viewer is
suddenly “brought back” to a bipolar feeling of foreignness when watching the last scene unfold,
which itself “reinstates a circumscribed Turkish identity” (Mennel 2002, 154). The universality of the
narrative experience breaks down and we are reminded that what we have just seen exists in a highly
segregated and economically deprived section of the richest city in Continental Europe. What we are
not immediately made aware of is the ethnic German presence in that existence.
If, in Renan’s memorable formulation, “a nation’s existence is…a daily plebiscite,” then most
characters in Hans-Christian Schmid’s 2003 film Lichter (Distant Lights) regularly vote against the
concept of a German or Polish nation, as these national borders are depicted as merely obstacles to a
better life, to be subverted in myriad ways.10 The so-called “Four Freedoms” of the European Union
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are indeed being practiced by the characters in both films irrespective and in fact in spite of national
legislation, EU institutions or directives. Meinhof and Galasi_ski, in a wide-ranging study of PolishGerman border inhabitants, include this comment in their paper from a German: “It’s more for
economic reasons that I would say, let’s immediately integrate Poland into the EU” (Meinhof and
Galasi_ski 2002, 76). But those comments are referring to legal foreign direct investment,
governmental cooperation and citizen exchange programs. As economist Stefan Krätke warns,
“Certain parts of the economy…will be included into formal world market structures…while other
parts are developing according to the structures of an informal economy” (Krätke 1998, 632). Put
another way, and as any traveler to the region will note, the black market is flourishing and vibrant,
and national political borders are at most an annoying hindrance to most forms of illicit commerce.
The seven interrelated tales which illustrate the above in the ingeniously-choreographed
Distant Lights all take place in this “informal economy” concentrated between Frankfurt an der Oder
and S_ubice, but here I will concentrate on only one:11 Sonja, a young ethnic German translator for the
Bundesgrenzschutz (Federal Border Police) helps to smuggle a Ukrainian, Kolja, into the Federal
Republic. He is a photographer from Kiev whose Russian smugglers promised to take him to Berlin
but left him in a Polish field east of the border, on the outskirts of the dingy border town of S_ubice.
Sonja’s motivation to break the law and smuggle him arise from a dual sense of guilt and justice.
Earlier in the film, Kolja was being bullied in his interrogation by Bundesgrenzschutz officers and
Sonja, rather than interpreting the harsh tones of the interrogator, secretly conveyed the message to
him that he should ask for asylum in Germany. When this fails, he is deported back to Poland, itself an
in-between space between where he was born (Ukraine) and where he feels destiny is leading him
(Berlin). Sonja and her boyfriend track him down in S_ubice and he hides in her car, eventually
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making it to Germany. After letting Kolja out of the car on Potsdamer Platz, Sonja realizes her
boyfriend’s expensive camera equipment has been stolen by Kolja.
Kolja’s straightforward motivation to come west is economic and his only real concern is to
how he will be able to do it. After having been betrayed by the first group of smugglers he paid to
convey him to Berlin (and fellow Slavs at that), he is about to pay some Bulgarians to get him from
Poland across the Oder River when a Pole warns him off. This helps illustrate what Tony Judt reminds
us of, namely that “Central Europe, from the Battle of White Mountain down to the present, is a region
of enduring ethnic intolerance, marked by bitter quarrels…” (Judt 1991, 48.) It is indeed ironic that a
sympathetic German civil servant is the one who successfully enables Kolja to cross the border into
Germany, albeit illegally. A partial metaphor, perhaps, for the strong advocacy German leaders have
shown in attempting to widen the EU, or an illustration of what two economists found in their survey
of cross-border economic cooperation between Poland and Germany: “…a trust relationship is
solidified by access to certain resources… an initial rational gamble is seen to pay dividends” (Grix
and Knowles 2003, 157). Again in this film, ethnic German political power and the sanction of the
nation-state is absent any final, decisive influence in the day-to-day lives of the characters described
above. I will let yet another economist’s description of cross-border interactions close this part of the
article: “…local, everyday life reproduces and negotiates existing borders while also generating new
boundaries” (Dürrschmidt 2002, p, 124).
As in Short Sharp Shock, and the economists’ quotes above, multiethnic cooperation in Distant
Lights is mostly seen to be a function of economic station in life rather than purely ethnic concerns.
Yet unlike Akin’s film, the desperate economic straits of those living on the German-Polish border do
not always lead to interethnic cooperation, even among Slavs. While neither this film nor my paper’s
intent is to chronicle the history of Central European rivalries, understanding the historical memory of
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these rivalries is key to understanding why the various ethnicities represented in the film might have an
even lower motivation for full cooperation with each other than the Turks, Serbs, Greeks, et.al. in
Short Sharp Shock. Yet rather than German political hegemony playing a central role in the
interactions between various ethnicities on both sides of the political border, it is, for the most part,
shown to be irrelevant to daily life, whether one is taxi driver, cigarette smuggler, interpreter or .12
The title of Fatih Akin’s 2004’s critically acclaimed Gegen die Wand (Head-on) refers to a car
driven into a brick wall by the alcoholic Cahit, a Turkish-German widower living in Hamburg.
Rehabilitating from his injuries in a psychiatric clinic, Cahit meets Sibel, also Turkish-German, and
suicidal because she refuses to adhere to her parents’ wishes and settle down with a traditional Turkish
man. Instead, she is living as a nontraditional, liberated Turkish woman at the same time she is a
“typical” German young woman in dress, body language and use of colloquial speech. After initial
protests, Cahit agrees to have her live with him in a simulated marriage to appease her conservative
Turkish parents and maintain her freedom away from prying eyes. Yet both sides know it is a sham
and even Sibel’s Turkish relatives believe she could have done better. When Cahit physically attacks
one of Sibel’s young lovers, he is imprisoned and Sibel moves to Istanbul. Once released, Cahit goes in
search of her in Turkey but after meeting up, both realize they are meant to live apart. Cahit returns to
his ancestral village, and Sibel remains in urban Istanbul with her daughter and post-Cahit boyfriend.
Cahit clearly inhabits a “hybrid space” or a position of cultural “in-betweenness.” He speaks
Turkish only haltingly, has little knowledge of traditional Turkish courting rituals or the marriage
ceremony itself, and seems quiet at home and undisturbed by externalities in his Hamburg Kiez. At the
same time, Germans see him as Turkish, he has a Turkish lover (in addition to Sibel) and both he and
Sibel are German citizens. Compounding his identity issues, he tells Sibel’s Turkish parents in
Hamburg that he is from Mersin (in Turkey), but when a cab driver in Istanbul asks where he is from,
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he replies, in German, “Hamburg.”13 The subsequent conversation in the cab illustrates well what the
Turkish-German intellectual Zafer _enocak personally experienced: “Germany appeared to me more a
language than a land” (_enocak 2000, 50). The troubles Cahit had which formed his self-destructive
alcoholic identity, including a rough past only briefly alluded to, are not overtly caused by his TurkishGerman status, but are shared by all ethnicities with which he has contact, including Germans.
Zafer _enocak has written that the Turkish-German world is marked by “many visible and
invisible fissures that simultaneously divide us and link us together,” and Akin’s film resonates with
cultural hybridity and traversed borders, both in the literal and figurative sense (_enocak 2000, 82). Yet
as with the previous two films, representations of the majority German culture, be they in the form of
people or institutions, are relatively passive and not decisive for the film’s narrative or character
development. Unlike Akin’s other film discussed in this article, however, there is certainly a profound
sense of culture clash and ethnic friction. Even so, as we will see, the tensions are between TurkishGermans and ethnic Turks (immigrants and those living in Turkey.) Aspects of German culture
represented include the civil wedding ceremony between Cahit and Sibel in the Standesamt, the
rehabilitation clinic in which Cahit and Sinel first meet, the state-sponsored psychologist at the service
of Cahit, the bar patrons throughout the film, Sibel’s mainly passive German lovers, Cahit’s German
lover, a tabloid article about Turkish violence in the Zoe-Bar, and the voiceless Justizbeamte watching
over their conversation as Sibel visits Cahit in jail. In no instance is the specific ethnic German aspect
of any of these cultural representations a necessary and sufficient force to drive the narrative, even if,
for example, a sensationalist tabloid article on Cahit’s bar fisticuffs forces Sibel’s parents to shun her.
Distant Lights’ interrelated stories concerning daily life among lower-income populations on
the German-Polish border, the depictions of small-time gangsterism in Short Sharp Shock and the illfated marriage between two Turkish-Germans in Head-on have in common the absence of an over-
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arching clash between indigenous German and migrant populations. Indeed, explicit references to the
influence and reach of the ostensibly dominant German culture are often noticeably absent. The fact
that these stories take place in a majority German cultural space (Hamburg and Frankfurt/Oder) is in
many cases irrelevant to plot and character development. This is a point driven home by copious use of
non-German languages to rob much narrative-shaping, and thus political and social power, from the
few characters depicted as being from the dominant “German” culture in these films. They also track,
reflect and criticize the post-national impulses in contemporary EU political and economic relations.
In Brandenburg and Silesia no less than in Hamburg, Euro-regions all now, the multicultural
ideal is shown to be sustained primarily by the pursuit of money, irrespective of national borders.
Should one take any of this as evidence of successful multicultural assimilation and accommodation in
the post-Wall Federal Republic, or the EU-25 Europe? As these films do not depict political, social or
cultural elites, but rather the multicultural lower economic classes and criminal underworld, the
“Other” portrayed here is not necessarily ethnic, but economic. In viewing these films, one might
plausibly claim that just as the European Union’s most tangible outward symbol of successful
integration may be the Euro, the true unification of the common citizen has come via free, if illicit,
transfers of capital and goods in border regions. This brings many other issues and frames of reference
to bear, of which discussions over cultural hybridity, so-called Immigrantenkino and the genre of the
Ghetto-Film are especially relevant. Certainly there also are many ways to interpret the absence of
narrative representations of a majority German culture in Distant Lights, bearing in mind Tony Judt’s
comment that a harmonious, unified Central Europe “is always at risk of being the product of
someone’s imagination” (Judt 1991, p. 48). And though significant impediments to immigration,
assimilation and acceptance of minorities still exist, all three films in this article describe a present and anticipate a future -where national borders are increasingly irrelevant to the daily lives of migrant
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populations in the EU. At the same time, all three suggest that the post-national future depicted in these
films is no panacea for ever-present economic and social discrimination, for which European-level
policies have yet to be envisioned satisfactorily. Not for nothing does the subtitle of Distant Lights
state: “Welcome to Reality.”
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See Grass, Rede vor dem Europarat 11.10.2000, at http://netzwerk-regenbogen.de/GrassEuropa.html (accessed October
2005.) This argument was made in a similar form in Rede von Verlust. Über den Niedergang der politischen Kultur im
geeinten Deutschland (Göttingen: Steidl, 1992), p. 58.
Inga Scharf, “Staging the Border: National Identity and the Critical Geopolitics of West German Film,” in Geopolitics,
No. 10, 2005, p. 378-9.
Alexandra Ludewig usefully traces this point much farther back into German film history, coming to the conclusion that
“Germany has seen the cultivation of multiple ‘frontiers’ in nuce and in many successions” which both East and West
German filmmakers have enthusiastically mirrored, critiqued and reinforced. See Ludewig, “Heimat, City and Frontier in
German National Cinema,” in Debatte, vol. 9, No. 2, 2001, p. 173.
Mark Terkessedis, whose project is a more wide-ranging critique of the concept of contemporary definitions of “cultural
hybridity” in the Federal Republic, makes a similar point with regard to kurz und schmerzlos. I have not found similar
critiques of interpretations of this film by others, nor yet by Terkessedis or others of the additional films I write on here. See
Terkessedis, Globale Kultur in Deutschland oder: Wie underdrückte Frauen und Krimininelle die Hybridität retten, in
electronic journal parapluie, posted on September 23, 1999 <http://parapluie.de>, accessed September 27, 2005.
Angelica Fenner, “Turkish Cinema in the New Europe: Visualizing Ethnic Conflict in Sinan Çetin’s Berlin in Berlin,” in
Camera Obscura 44 (2000), p. 116.
Though this does sound promising, Barbara Mennel notes Deniz Göktürk’s contention that the first prominent TurkishGerman directors such as Ba_er simply replicated the New German Cinema’s strategies of victimization. She more
approvingly notes the shift in recent films towards portrayals of minority subjects “as agents” rather than victims, though
this, too, seems to be no long-term panacea (Mennel 2002, 136.)
Akin’s first two short films, Sensin- Du bist es! (1995) and Getürkt (1996) brought him to the wider attention of film
critics even before his feature film debut.
Another main character quite important to the plot, Gabriel’s love interest Alice, does not receive such a “stamp” during
the opening scenes, perhaps because she is ethnically German?
This is demonstrated, for example, in the scene between Gabriel and his sister where he says she can kiss men other than
her boyfriend “somewhere in <the Hamburg neighborhoods of> Eppendorf or Wandsbek for all I care, but not here” in
Altona, the district in which he lives.
Ernest Renan, What is a Nation? in Eley, Geoff and Ronald Grigor Suny. Becoming National: A Reader (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 53.
In this film, unlike the other two discussed in this paper, ethnic German characters do play major roles. However, the
narrative dynamic is not driven by intercultural concerns. Rather, in pursuit of business opportunities, a better life or simply
a steady income to support one’s family, borders become irrelevant and ethnicities are only secondarily of interest to plot
One story in Distant Lights might appear to belie this assertion, as a stereotypical rich German businessman is shown to
be manipulating his clients by paying for Polish prostitute-interpreters during a business trip to S_ubice. Yet even this
hegemony is, in the end, ably deconstructed: The Polish women are responding to the Euro incentive, and the Polish men
are being manipulated, but the German men are paying Poles with no immediate prospect of return investment. This scene
could just as easily be occurring between Germans and other ethnicities, or between Germans and other Germans. The
exchange of money drives the narrative dynamic, not the ethnicities at play in this story.
This scene is particularly amusing since it turns out the taxi driver is actually a Turkish-German from Munich. Cahit
responds, “God, are you Bavarian or something?” The dialogue could have been written by two ethnic Germans. As it is, it
was written by Akin, himself a Turkish-German.
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Works Cited
Gegen die Wand (Head-on), Dir. Fatih Akin, 2004.
kurz und schmerzlos (Short Sharp Shock), Dir. Fatih Akin, 1998.
Lichter (Distant Lights), Dir. Hans-Christian Schmid, 2003.
Scholarly Books and Articles
Cheesman, Tom. “Akçam – Zaimo_lu – ‘Kanak Attak’: Turkish Lives and Letters in German,” in
German Life and Letters, Volume 55, No. 2, April 2002, pp. 180-195.
Copsey, Dickon. “Scene Change: Pluralized Identity in Contemporary German Cinema,” in
Phipps, Alison (ed.) Contemporary German Cultural Studies. (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2002), pp. 241-262.
Dürrschmidt, Jörg. “’They’re worse off than us’- The Social Construction of European Space and
Boundaries in the German/Polish Twin City Guben-Gubin,” in Identities: Global Studies in
Culture and Power, Volume 9, 2002, pp. 123-150.
Grass, Günter. Rede von Verlust. Über den Niedergang der politischen Kultur im geeinten
Deutschland (Göttingen: Steidl, 1992).
Grix, Jonathan and Vanda Knowles. “The Euroregion and the Maximization of Social Capital: Pro
Europa Viadrina, in Regional and Federal Studies, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2002, pp.
Judt, Tony. “The Rediscovery of Central Europe,” in Graubard, Stephen R. (ed.) Eastern
Europe…Central Europe…Europe (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 23-58.
Krätke, Stefan. “Regional Integration or Fragmentation? The German-Polish Border Region in a New
Europe,” in Regional Studies, Vol. 33, No. 7, October 1998, pp. 631-641.
Ludewig, Alexandra. “Heimat, City and Frontier in German National Cinema,” in Debatte, Vol. 9, No.
2, 2001, pp. 173-187.
Mennel, Barbara. “Bruce Lee in Kreuzberg and Scarface in Altona: Transnational Auteurism and
Ghettocentrism in Thomas Arslan’s Brothers and Sisters and Faith (sic!) Akin’s Short Sharp
Shock,” in New German Critique, No. 87, Fall 2002, pp. 133-156.
Meinhof, Ulrike H. and Dariusz Galasi_ski. “Reconfiguring East-West Identities: Cross-Generational
Discourses in German and Polish Border Communities,” in Journal of Ethnic and Minority
Studies. Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2002, pp. 63-82.
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Renan, Ernest. “What is a Nation?” in Geoff Eley and Ronald Grigor Suny, (eds.) Becoming
National: A Reader (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 41-55.
Rentschler, Eric. “From New German Cinema to the Post-Wall Cinema of Consensus,” in Hjort, Mette
and Scott MacKenzie (eds.) Cinema and Nation (New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 260-277.
Rupnik, Jacques. “Central Europe or Mitteleuropa?” in in Graubard, Stephen R. (ed.) Eastern
Europe…Central Europe…Europe (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 233-266.
Scharf, Inga. “Staging the Border: National Identity and the Critical Geopolitics of West German
Film,” in Geopolitics, Vol. 10, 2005, pp. 378-397.
_enocak, Zafer. Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture, 1990-1998.
Translated and Edited by Leslie A. Adelson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000).
Terkessedis, Mark. Globale Kultur in Deutschland oder: Wie underdrückte Frauen und Krimininelle
die Hybridität retten, in electronic journal parapluie, posted on September 23, 1999
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