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Modernidade e a nova vida: Brasil no cinema alemão nos anos 1950/60
Wolfgang Fuhrmann
Resumo Expandido
(A palestra será realizada em portugues)

There hardly exists any period in German film history that has been as neglected as the cinema of the fifties and sixties. Traditional film historiography usually considers the cinema of this period of low intellectual quality and meaning.

Recent scholarly work has initiated a re-evaluation of this neglected and ignored cinema of the past. The revisionist approach does not intend to establish the cinema of this period as a misunderstood decade of subversion but, as Johannes von Moltke argues, “to introduce new frameworks that can bring a more nuance to earlier evaluations […]” (Moltke 2005, 24). Re-reading the films of this decade in their specific historical context shows the films’ ambivalent moments that refer to a kind of “hidden modernity” in the sense of a social-discursive function.

The lecture focuses on the role of Brazil as a location and a semantic reference in German Cinema of the late fifties and early sixties. With reference to a small group of German film productions at this time, STEFANIE (Josef von Báky, 1958), the sequel STEFANIE IN RIO (Curtis Bernhardt, 1960) and WEIT IST DER WEG [LONGA É A ESTRADA] (Wolfgang Schleif, 1960), we will discuss Brazil’s meaning in the context of the cultural political discourse in the history of the young Federal Republic of Germany. All films, as it will be argued, are interlinked by the common motif of architecture.

Architecture together with its association of new beginning, progress and modernity established Brazil as a possible role model for the young German nation. Brazil stood for a self-confident modern nation with a vision for the future.

Using Wolfgang Schleif’s film LONGA É A ESTRADA, the most “Brazilian” film among the before mentioned group of films, as the case in point, we will discuss how the film introduces Brazil as a modern nation that offers space for everybody regardless of national and social background.

However, contrasting Brazil with Germany the film also illustrates how German films of the 1950/60s were torn between tradition and modernity. LONGA É A ESTRADA struggles with the concept of a new life for the young German generation after World War II. The film ends with a happy-ending for a young German couple but it fails to envision its possible future in Germany. It can only offer a compromise that projects the couples’ new life in the intercultural contact zone of Brazil.

Bergfelder, Tim (2005): International Adventures. German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s, New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Carter, Erica (1997): How German is She? Postwar West German Reconstruction and the Consuming Woman, University of Michigan Press.

Fehrenbach, Heide (1995): Cinema in democratizing Germany: Reconstructing national identity after Hitler, Chapel Hill, NC [u.a.]: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

Fuhrmann, Wolfgang: Fortschritt, Modernität und Lebensentwürfe. Brasilienbilder im westdeutschen Kino der 1950 Jahre, in: G. Alzamora, R. Rampazzo Gambarato, and S. Malaguti (Hgs): Kulturdialog Brasilien - Deutschland. Design, Film, Literatur, Medien, Berlin 2008, p. 321-334.

Moltke, Johannes [von]: No Place Like Home: Locations of Heimat in German Cinema, Berkeley, Los Angeles 2005.