The labor migration from Turkey to Germany, which started in the mid-1960s, had an important socio-economic and socio-cultural impact on both countries’ societies and influenced their film culture. German filmmakers began to feature the first guest workers’ difficult lives in films such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Katzelmacher (1969) and Angst Essen Seele Auf (1974). Later, German cinema began to cinematically capture the entire migrant family like in Shirins Hochzeit (1975) and Yasemin (1988). In the 1990s, second- and third –generation Turkish German directors such as Fatih Akın, Thomas Arslan, Ayşe Polat, Yüksel Yavuz, and Aysun Bademsoy started to create a transnational and diasporic cinema featuring a culturally hybrid Germany. Turkish cinema dealt with this migration phenomenon even in more than 60 films alone between 1960s and 1990s. Berlin (especially Kreuzberg) has always been one of the favorite settings in all of these migration movies. The transformation of Berlin’s first guest worker Ghettos to culturally hybrid urban districts over the course of 60 years is very well reflected in all of these cinema cultures.
This interdisciplinary course crosses and connects the academic fields of migration studies, film studies, and cultural studies. In the first part of the course, we will explore how the socio-political and socio-cultural phenomenon of Turkish immigration into Germany, immigrants, and diasporas are represented in German and Turkish cinema from the 1960s until the present. The second part of the course then gets more specific and we approach the representation of Berlin in these migration movies. In this course, students will gain knowledge about film analysis, writing a screenplay, German immigration history, and theoretical concepts dealing with migration, diaspora, stereotype, culture, and identity.
language requirements English B2, German A1
You will find the detailed syllabus for this course on the Berlin Perspectives Website:
In order to participate, you have to register through the Berlin Perspectives online registration form:
Registration period: 15 September – 25 October 2020:
Seminar places are allocated to the students registered and present in the first session.
This seminar carries 5 ECTS.
Berlin Perspectives is an international and interdisciplinary course program for incoming international students to complement their regular studies at Humboldt-Universität. It is also open to regular HU students who may enroll as part of their elective course requirements (üWP). Courses are taught in English or in bilingual German-English formats.