The Multicultural Germany Project presents the screening of Frau Kutzer und andere Bewohner der Naunynstrasse, followed by a discussion. Please join us on Friday, March 9, 2012, from 2-4 p.m. (Dwinelle 282). 1973 was the year of the global oil crisis and Germany’s moratorium on the recruitment of guest workers. That same year,
Rotbuch Verlag in Berlin published Aras Ören’s book-length poem Was will Niyazi in der Naunynstraße, and Friedrich Zimmermann directed a documentary adaptation in Berlin-Kreuzberg. During last year’s Almancı!-Festival, Ballhaus Naunynstraße screened this film at the Eiszeit Kino as part of a film retrospective entitled Gegen die Leinwände. In the context of commemorating 50 years of Turkish immigration to Germany, this screening – which assembled actors from the film for discussion – itself became an act of remembrance.
Frau Kutzer und andere Bewohner der Naunystrasse features the war-widow Frau Kutzer, the philosopher-guest worker Niyazi, as well as other characters passing through the street. The street itself bears silent witness to the deferred good life of the laborer. If Germany is “a little America,” as the narrator tells us, could there have been a “German Dream” for the migrant worker? Or is Berlin-Kreuzberg rather the site of an ongoing nightmare filled with the specters of Germany’s past? How do stories of place and of people converge on Naunystrasse? And how does this documentary speak to us today?