Facing Postwar History –"Joschka and Sir Fischer" at Film Festival in Pittsburgh
Every year, the International Film Festival, organized by the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, challenges its participants to view the world through a multicultural lens. The Other, which is the focus of this year's festival, can be identified as anyone of a different culture, language, religion, gender, appearance, sexual preference, personality, or world view. In contrast, an Other can also be something very familiar to us: our family, our desires, or even ourselves in times when our thoughts and actions do not seem to align with the person we thought we were.
The festival organizers searched the world to select unique, independent films that fit these criteria. The films selected for the festival cannot be seen in commercial theaters or streamed on a computer. Many are award-winning films from other well-known festivals; some are still in the festival circuit.
Enlarge image Jolanta Lion, Festival Director, Carnegie Mellon University; Sabine von Dirke, German Professor, University of Pittsburgh; John Lyon, German Department Chair, University of Pittsburgh; David Murdoch, Honorary Consul of Germany; Pepe Danquart, Film Director; Jochen Wolter, Consul, Press and Public Information, German Consulate General New York; Stephen Brockmann, German Professor, Carnegie Mellon University (© germany.info) With the support of the German Consulate General, the appearance of director Pepe Danquart for the screening of "Joschka and Sir Fischer" was made possible. He also gave talks to film and German students of University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Danquart studied Media & Communcation at Freiburg University and attended the European producers' school EAVE. He has won several awards, including an Oscar for the short film "Black Rider" (Schwarzfahrer) in 1994, the German Film Award in Gold for Best Director for "Heimspiel" (2000) and the German Film Award in Gold for Outstanding Documentary for "Workingman's Death" (2005).
Danquart captures the charm, wit and wisdom of a political figure whose legend helped shape the turbulent history of post-World War II Germany. Standing in an old factory in Germany with historical footage projected on either side of him, former Foreign Minister Fischer recounts in the film his extraordinary personal story literally against the backdrop of 60 years of German history. The film presents his colourful biography, from his revoluntionary beginnings as part of Germany's rising student movement in the 1960s to his controversial command as a member of the Green Party in the 1980s to establishing himself as a fiery and outspoken leader who would captivate Germany and serve as Foreign Minister from 1998-2005.
In the Q&A section after the screening Danquart was asked what additional footage would be seen in a "director's cut" of the movie. He answered:"This is the director's cut – because nothing has been removed from my final version!".