“Germany in the 21st century is decidedly multiethnic and multilingual, reflected particularly in its cinema,” says Berna Gueneli.
First-year students in Gueneli’s Turkish, German, European: Fatih Akin’s Cinema and Multiethnic Germany explore this fact in light of the work of Turkish-German director Fatih Akin.
They begin the semester studying postwar migration to and from Germany, to understand the demographic shifts and changes that occurred in the course of the 20th century. “These multidirectional migratory movements are ongoing processes,” says Gueneli.
The students then look at contemporary director Akin’s work. His work “represents a new type of German cinema that reflects Germany’s multiethnic and multilingual diversity,” says Gueneli. “By the end of this course, we will have learned about one of Germany’s most renowned filmmakers, who happens to be praised as a Turkish director by the Turkish press, as a Turkish-German or German director by the German press, and as a European director at many European film awards.”
Akin and his cinema are all of these: Turkish, German, and European.