Focus: Standort Berlin


Wessen Stadt

Hans-Christian Post / Denmark, Germany / 2017 / 0:53:25

A journey through the architectural disputes of Berlin
Whose city? is a film about the transformation of Berlin from the somewhat run-down and neglected, but highly dynamic and flexible city of the 1990s to today’s ever-more chic and exclusive city. Many documentaries have in recent years been made on this issue, but whereas most of these 'follow the money' and look into the economic
power relations in today’s urban planning,
Whose city? moves back in time to the almost forgotten, but defining architectural disputes of the 1990s. With the fall of the Wall and the rest of the Eastern Bloc in 1989/1990, leading politicians and urban planners in Berlin became almost obsessed with aesthetic and national concerns, and this helped pave the way for the ongoing neoliberal take-over of the city, since the fundamental question was no longer asked: Who are we building for?

The film represents a meditative journey through Berlin, from the West to the East, and from the male-dominated conservative urban planning of the early 1990s to the more diverse and open-minded urban planning
of today. Finally, the film constitutes a journey into the complexity and richness of urban planning. The arguments and viewpoints that have characterized the planning disputes since the early 1990s are listed
one after the other, thereby gradually revealing what it takes to produce a city for all. The film ends in a positive mode, but the question remains, if Berlin will overcome the old and new divisions and indeed become a city for all.


Berliner Tableau : Günter Steinmeyer bemoans 100 friendly places
(Berliner Tableau. Günter Steinmeyer beklagt Hundert Schöne Orte) /

Thomas Schumacher / Germany / 2016 / 0:40:00

For the past four years, Günter Steinmeyer has shared his mostly short and insightful impressions of his elective home city of Berlin in his blog "100FRIENDLYPLACES?| Orte die gut sind". He gives a pointed depiction of Berlin that - despite the blog's name - draws attention to places and situations that aren't always pleasant or "friendly".
Rather than simply write down his observations, Steinmeyer goes a step further by subtly distorting reality with invention and exaggeration.
The texts amplify reality in Berlin, sometimes with a passing detail,such as listing two threatened species of beetle, that actually don't exist. His blog entries tend towards irony, bordering on derision: perhaps a dig at the city he loves. From brief escapes to lengthy excursions to the edge of the city, Steinmeyer has cycled to many
places but, so far at least, he's always returned.