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Points of Entanglement: The Overdetermination of German Space and Identity in Lola + Bilidikid and Walk on Water

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Publication Date
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eScholarship - University of California
Keywords
  • National Identity
  • German
  • Turkish
  • Jewish
  • Queer
  • Transvestism
  • Film
  • Kutlug Ataman
  • Eytan Fox
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Abstract

In this essay, I consider how films have engaged with the politics of German space and identity in the context of the country’s National Socialist past – and, more specifically, in the context of relations between and among Germans, Jews, and Turks. I analyze scenes from two recent films, Turkish director Kutlug Ataman’s Lola + Bilidikid (1999) and Israeli director Eytan Fox’s Walk on Water (2004), that evoke Berührung between and among these groups through their use of spaces in Berlin that bear weighty historical and ideological connotations. Of key interest for me is the function of queerness and drag in these scenes, as well as the manner in which the scenes serve not only as contestations over space, but also as opportunities for the negotiation of the German body politic.

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