Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a screening of Peter Kahane's documentary Tamara, followed by a conversation with the director. Peter Kahane's only documentary film to date, Tamara is the story of a rock icon that galvanized an entire generation of East German youth. The film was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007 and chronicles a remarkable period in the history of East German rock, with concert clips, rarely shown archival material, and moving interviews. Tamara Danz (1952-96), the charismatic and rebellious lead singer of the rock band Silly, was East Germany’s answer to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. She may be familiar to some from the 1988 DEFA road movie whisper & SHOUT.
Peter Kahane was born in 1949 in Prague. His father worked as a journalist and a foreign correspondent and his mother was an artist. He first studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where, in 1971, he attained certification to teach both French and Russian. After completing a year of service in the National People’s Army from 1974 to 1975, Kahane began studying at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. After completing his studies in 1979, Kahane worked as an assistant to directors such as Heiner Carow and Egon Schlegel.
Kahane’s debut film Weiberwirtschaft appeared in 1984. The ensuing years were some of the most productive and critically successful in Kahane’s career, marked by one of his best known films, Ete und Ali. Very well received by East German teenagers, Ete und Ali is a coming-of-age story featuring two friends who have just completed mandatory military service. Kahane’s subsequent film, Vorspiel, was similar in its focus on daily life and was equally well received. Both were honored with prizes at the Max Ophüls Film Festival.
Die Architekten, Kahane’s most critical and politically engaged film, was begun in 1989 – the year the Berlin Wall fell – and released the following year. It was awarded the Special Prize at the National Feature Film Festival of the GDR, as well as the Prize of the Catholic Film Commission. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification, Kahane took a short break to assess the film scene, before releasing Cosimas Lexikon in 1992, and then waited seven more years to make his next feature Bis zum Horizont und weiter in 1999, which was received with enthusiasm. Since the mid-1990s, Kahane has also been directing and writing screen plays for TV movies.
Thanks to the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, especially Hiltrud Schulz, for their help realizing this event.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!