Whose City?

2017, dir. Hans Christian Post

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. It moves back in time to the almost forgotten, but defining architectural disputes of the 1990s. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rest of the Iron Curtain in 1989/1990, and the German unification in 1990, leading politicians and urban planners in Berlin became obsessed with questions of aesthetics and tradition in an attempt to normalize Berlin’s city scape. And according to the film, 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?

Where To With History?

2020, dir. Hans Christian Post

Dresden has in recent years grown famous and infamous. Famous for its attempt to rebuild its once bombed-out historical center. Infamous for the right-wing-surge that has since 2015 swept the city. One the one hand, the city exemplifies the ‘blooming landscapes’ that the German reunification was to bring about. On the other hand, it testifies to the things that have gone wrong in Germany and Europe since then

Experimental City

2017, dir. Chad Freidrichs

The Experimental City is a documentary about the Minnesota Experimental City project, a futuristic attempt to solve urban problems by creating a full-size city from scratch in the isolated woods of northern Minnesota. At the heart of the story is renowned scientist, inventor and comic-strip author Athelstan Spilhaus, who dreams of a new kind of planned city – a truly experimental city that continuously changes to find workable urban solutions. This new city would employ the newest technologies in communications, transport, pollution control, energy supply  – even large-scale domed enclosure – in an attempt to create more livable cities for the 21st Century.

Last Exit Alexanderplatz

2015, dir. Hans Christian Post

Last Exit Alexanderplatz is a film about the ongoing, but politically disputed and so far unsuccessful attempt to transform the former East-German Alexanderplatz into a high-end, Manhattan-like business district. Through interviews with the architects and politicians, who were involved in the competition held for the square in 1993, the film highlights the dogmatism and insensitivity that characterized much of planning in post-reunification Berlin. But it also depicts a square, which despite the failures and missed opportunities of the 1990s, seems to have regained its foothold in the city.

Natura Urbana – the Brachen of Berlin

2017, dir. Matthew Gandy

The Brachen of Berlin are unique. Emerging from war-time destruction, economic malaise, and geo-political division, these ostensibly empty sites evolved into laboratories for botanists, artists, and ordinary people seeking respite from the city. Today, however, these unusual spaces are fast disappearing. Natura Urbana explores the spontaneous diversity of plants in these spaces to illuminate the city’s complex history through the post-war period until the contemporary era.

Such Stuff, As Dreams Are Made Of

2019, dir. Michael Rieper, Lotte Schreiber

Based on six milestones of self-organized and self-managed housing projects in Austria, this 75-minute documentary explores a variety of topics related to cooperative planning processes from 1968 to the present. Through interviews with participants and residents of these individual housing projects, the film not only examines their social and economic demands, and sociopolitical significance, but also provides insight into the small and large daily conflicts, discussions and benefits that life in a collective involves.

New Town Utopia

2017, dir. Christopher Ian Smith

New Town Utopia is a film about utopian dreams and concrete realities – a feature documentary that tells the story of the British New Town of Basildon, Essex. After World War Two, New Towns were designed as social utopias, built to create a ‘new type of citizen’ – with public art, homes by progressive architects and work for everyone. Basildon and its pioneer residents were invested with these post-war hopes and aspirations.

The Disappearance of Robin Hood

2018, dir. Klearjos Eduardo Papanicolaou

London, 1972 – the city is growing, and with it the need to house working populations. Post-war values of social welfare make experimenting with new forms of housing possible, ushering in an era of modernist, utopian projects. Among the most daring and innovative, Peter and Alison Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens estate. The echoes of experts and decision-makers are heard as we explore the corridors of Robin Hood – their voices, like dissonant radio waves, take turns in expounding the values of the estate, while also arguing about its reputation, significance, and future. Meanwhile, intimate portraits of residents express the emotional, humorous, and complex story of the project.

Symposium Wrocław ’70

Movie Block

One of the main goals of the Symposium Wrocław ’70 – an unique meeting of artists, critics and art theorists organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of ‘the return of the western and northern lands to the motherland’ – was to create a new, urban and architectural structure of Wrocław. During the screening, which is also part of the celebration  of the 50th anniversary of Symposium Wrocław ’70, we are going to see a city from half a century ago – still in ruins, but full of brave design ideas courage. The movie block will be preceded by a short lecture by Michał Duda, who will introduce the realities of the city in the ’70.

La Notte

1961, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni

Filmed on location in Milan, the film is the relationship between a disillusioned novelist and his frustrated wife as it follows a single day and night where they confront their alienation from each other and the empty Milan circles they travel. The film continues Antonioni’s tradition of abandoning traditional storytelling in favor of visual composition, mood and character. It’s one of the most important movies in the history of Italian cinema. A short lecture by Aleksandra Czupkiewicz – architect living in Wrocław – will accompany the screening.