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This Architecture on Film screening takes place in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and as part of the Barbican Film series Borders and Boundaries (8 - 27 November 2019).
BERLINMUREN (2008, Lars Laumann, 24 mins)
In 1979 Swedish woman Eija Riitta consolidated her lengthy love affair with the Berlin Wall by marrying it, taking the name of her new husband – Berliner Mauer – as her surname. In artist Lars Laumann’s film, ‘objectum-sexual’ identifying Eija narrates her romance and union with the wall from the sanctuary of her domestic ‘Museum of Models and Guillotines’. A highly singular love story transcending distances, age gaps, politics and conventions, including threats from a love triangle, David Hasselhoff and the wall’s eventual collapse.
RABBIT À LA BERLIN (Poland/Germany, 2009, Bartek Konopka and Piotr Roso?owski, 50 mins)
Rabbit à la Berlin shows a very different side to the rise and fall of the wall, from the perspective of the many thousands of rabbits that comfortably called its Death Strip home. As barbed wire turns to concrete in Potsdamer Platz, and strangely behaving humans erect structures of unknown purpose stretching for hundreds of kilometres, a paradisiacal ‘rabbitland’ flourishes in the ‘meadows’ – until the landowners change their perspectives, kinship between guards and furry residents turns sour, and the fall of the wall forces the rabbits to adjust to a very different way of life in West Berlin.
If Werner Herzog remade Watership Down, this would be his template.
Weaving archive footage and interviews, satire and sincerity, into a fairytale-like fable, the film’s true story offers a vivid and alternate history, a grounds-eye view of a geopolitical ground zero, with more than a few resonances to be found between rabbit and human experiences of a divided, enclosed Berlin.