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A Visit By Film Director Peter Lilienthal  Event

Peter Lilienthal event
20 - 21 November 2007
Avenue Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Claudia Sandberg at .

Event details

Presented by Film Studies and Parkes Institute in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut London

The German-Jewish director Peter Lilienthal has been making films for over four decades. In 1938 when he was nine years old, his family fled the Nazi regime to Uruguay. Since 1956, Lilienthal has been back in Germany but the topics of his films are international, frequently dealing with political struggles in Latin America and other parts of the world.

His early films were important contributions to the New German Cinema of the 1970s. As film historian Thomas Elsaesser remarks, Lilienthal gained “one of the most solid reputations and track records as a left-liberal director”.

Features such as Es herrscht Ruhe im Land/Calm Prevails in the Country (1976), La insurrección/The Uprising (1980) and Das Autogramm/The Autograph (1984) won national and international awards. Lilienthal has also addressed the Holocaust and the Jewish Diaspora in films such as David (1979), which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival, and Das Schweigen des Dichters/The Poet’s Silence (1987).

Lilienthal’s latest project, Camilo-The Long Way to Disobedience (2007), a documentary telling the story of a Nicaragua-born former US soldier who fought in Iraq and subsequently became a deserter and anti-war activist, is showing this autumn at the International Latino Film Festival in San Francisco.

Two events will mark Peter Lilienthal’s visit to Southampton:

  • David will be screened on Tuesday, November 20 (6pm, Avenue Campus; Lecture Theatre A), accompanied by a Q&A session with the director.
  • In a student workshop on Wednesday, 21 November (Avenue Campus, Room 1093; 2pm-6pm), Lilienthal aims to discuss ‘what rocks the world in students’ heads’ and how images work. Drawing on current global political issues and his own films, the workshop is meant as a hands-on experience in which students and director work on ideas and drafts that could be made into visual material. The number of participants for the workshop is limited, but if you would like to take part, please contact Claudia Sandberg at

I am drawn to people who think about the future. For the most part I am not nostalgic myself, and am not interested in my own past at all. I am concerned with the little bit of life still ahead of me, and I enjoy talking to people who think likewise; who want to consider with me what we can do in this world where there is so much bloodshed and where some people may depend on our friendship. [..] And maybe this is what often separates me from the basic idea of a settled Jewish culture - those communities devoting so much of their work to the past [..], whereas I often ask in conversations: What can we do for others? Because if we can do something for the millions of people murdered then at least I acknoledge this message, think of the others, do something for them, because you are living comfortable now. (From an interview with Peter Lilienthal in May 2007)

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