everyday life

No Title – but a report

They now come into the cinemas, the movies from the Berlinale 2018, where I have participated as a member of the readers jury from the „Berliner Morgenpost“. I was one of 12 jury members.

There were many interesting impressions for us in the Berlinale. It started with our accreditation far away from long waiting queues where we got our press-card and a voucher for the Berlinale-rucksack. Every Morning very early, shortly after 8 a.m. (early for me because it took me nearly one hour with S-Bahn, waiting for the next and walking to reach the Berlinale Palace) at least two or three of us started with the queue before the entrance of the first press-performance.

We tried and managed to get seats in row 12 and 13 and there we were together not only watching the competition-films, but listening to the reaction of the other members of the jury. We never had the same opinion about the movies we saw, only in one case: We did not understand and did not appreciate that the movie „Touch me not“ from the romanian director Adina Pintilie won the main price, the Golden Bear for the best film. We thought it was not due to artistic work like the performance of the actors or the capability of the director to bring to life a standig out story. We believe that the award was given out of political-social reasons. We labeled this movie in our talks as „Watch me not“.

It was exciting to see what different reactions the 12 of us had to the different movies. For instance the german contribution „Three days in Quiberon“ which told the story of the last interview with the late famous actress Romy Schneider. I was scared by the remark of our two youngest members, that they never heard of Romy Schneider before. This moment gave me back the shocking certainty that I am old. And for a moment I stopped breathing. I look back to experiences which mean nothing to other generations. But I do not want to talk only to persons in my age or a little bit younger, I am interested in young people how they look on the things and outcomes of the present reality. So it was new to me to hear about the enthusiasm for Ed Sheeran. Ed who? I am wiser now. I saw and listened to videos in the internet. I like his songs and his voice and he reminds me of a romantic dream I had in the age of 17: I loved the idea to be married to a red-haired irish man and to get 5 red-haired children with him. (My life offered other opportunities for me).

I would like to mention the jury: the three youngsters around 22, the 4 old ones around 74 to 76 and the large middle-group around 50 +/-. Large middle-group? I think I felt most familiar with them and felt a kind of soul-intellect-relationship.

Some of us joined nearly every press audience after the two films in the morning. One of the most elevating moments were when we passed the door-keepers. With an obvious gesture we showed our press-cards. They opened every door for us. And that was the secret in my eyes for the lasting interest and pleasure most of us had the exhausting 10 days of the Berlinale. We had a task to fulfill, a duty and we took it seriously. We tried to overcome the personal emotional impressions (das sog. Bauchgefühl) after a movie and looked for criteria how to judge and to estimate the film.

Before I come to our final decision for the award of the readers jury of the „Berliner Morgenpost“ I want to mention some other movies which we found worthful to watch.

„In den Gängen“ – „In the aisles“, a german movie with Sandra Hüller and Franz Rogowski. A tender love story in the unknown surrounding of a beverage market. Very sensible and touching moments. But no prize!

We were expecting a prize for the outstanding actress Marie Bäumer as Romy Schneider with whom she looked out similarly. But she was not a copy of R.S. Marie Bäumer was capable to relate to the artistic appearence of R.S. and transformed it into her own artistic creation. A great performance! But weeks later she won the award of the „Deutsche Filmpreis“ the „Lola“.

I want to mention „My brother names Robert and he is an idiot“ from Philip Gröning, nearly 3 hours long. Most of us thought this movie as an unreasonable demand. I followed with no real „understanding“ of the story and the pictures. . Long parts I was annoyed. The eruption of cruelty at the end surprised and shocked me. Later I asked myself why I wanted to have an autograph from this director, the only one I asked for during the Berlinale. In the reverse this movie has another meaning for me. It gives a deep impression of the souls of twins who live regularly as two-in-a-unity. This was fascinating to watch and to listen to their dialogues which were more a circulation around themselves. I would recommend it to other psychoanalysts.

Further to remark is the movie which opened the Berlinale: Isles of dogs. From Wes Anderson. Made with the old-fashioned stop-motion-technique. I would go again in this movie when I had to decide which of the films in the competition I would like to see again. It had a lot of charme, a deep humor and possibilities for metaphors and understanding the sense. You even can take it as a political satire of dividing the world into „good“ and „bad“. „Isles of Dogs“ won a Silver-bear for best direction. Wow!

Now to the winner of the prize from our jury: „Dovlatov“ from Russia, directed by Aleksey German junior. „Dovlatov“ got an award ( a Silver bear) for an outstanding artificial performance: costumes and set-design. The film follows some days of the russian writer Sergey Dovlatov. The camera followed each step and each meeting with friends and family. Our group was impressed by the emotional and the close impact of the character and his sorrounding. A really good movie.

6 weeks ago when I was in Berlin again for a short visit I managed to organize a meeting with 2/3 of our group and we looked: „Lady Bird“. We enjoyed it and discussed the film and other topics after the performance in the mexican restaurant near-by the cinema. Maybe we can repeat this.

everyday life

A Jackpot for the 68. Berlinale 15.2. – 25.2.2018

In some years before I have visited the Berlinale in Berlin, which is known as the greatest filmfestival for the public. It was not easy to get tickets, waiting for hours at some counters in the city or buying them online. This makes problems, too.

Four weeks ago I read in the digital edition of the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost about the socalled Leserjury. They were asking for applications from the readers to join the jury for the public prize. I applied and two weeks later – I was just going out of my car – I got a telephonecall from the MoPo.: congratulations. You are invited to our jury. Our first meeting will be 10th february at ten o’clock in the Zoopalast.

Wow, it took me several days to realize my fortune. As part of the jury everybody can see as much films as she/he wants, especially the films in the competition. No standing in line to get a ticket. No frustration if one is late and the films you want to see are soldout. A jackpot!

This morning the berlinale started for us at the office where we 12 jury members got our badges. Then we went to the first screening of the opening film – for the press. The cinema was crowded, already half an hour before. And I learned: In this situation you cannot be shy and cautious and wait. You have to go straight forward, facing the goal – a free seat – and then take it.

We saw from Wes Anderson “Isle of Dogs”. It was for the first time that the Berlinale opened with an animation film. I liked it, the story can be seen as a metaphor for present political situations with exclusions of unwanted living creatures. In a fiction of a japanese town the mighty mayor decides to deport all dogs who seem to have dangerous diseases. (In my opinion these are projections of bad charactertraits).

In the meeting of the press afterwards they all were there: the director Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum. It was so exciting. To see the stars a few meter away from me whom I know only from movies.

The stars were asked how often they have been at the Berlinale. Several times, said Bill Murray, but this is the big one. This is the one which really counts. It is huge.

Tomorrow we will see 3 movies (that is the duty), and I do a fourth one (only for pleasure, it is a film from the Weimar Cinema, from 1928. 

Allgemein, everyday life, living with old age

All dress in black, he won’t be coming back


This is the third line of „Fool, if you think it’s over “ interpreted by Elkie Brooks.

The line in the song is my worst scenary. I fear most that my husband may die before me. He had a heart-attack, now 13 years ago. I got the message by phone. He was 300 km away on a congress. In this moment I wished I could fly, the train was too slow, the traffic too high, it took me more than 5 hours to reach him. But then I could sit at his bedside. We both were so relieved that he has survived.

It took some time for recovery and he started to walk in the forest near of our house, nearly every day, to strengthen his heart. He is in a very good shape, and as often as I can, I accompany him to improve my health. We both are on a good way, but still this  event has a traumatic quality for me and gives me from time to time bad feelings and thoughts.

This is not the only thing when grief and sorrow come to me. Friends have died, parents have died, my cats, one after the other. And I cannot get used to these sad feelings. Life is not over after a loss, but it is burden with these feelings for a longer time. When time goes by,

This post is old. I found it yesterday after I returned from a visit to a neighbour, who has lost her husband in january.  For 7 years she had to take care of him more and more and she did it with sympathy and love and sometimes with shouting when she had the impression that he totally drew back inside. She wanted so much that the communication between them would last. A reaction from him. She spoke about one scene: He was listening to his beloved music and deeply absorbed more than ever – in what? She shouted at him: speak to me, sing the music for me (that was s.th. what he did from time to time: singing). Middle in the night she wakes up by the voice of her husband. He started to sing a song for her, it was the music he has heard in the afternoon.

How could this happen? It is a miracle to her.

everyday life

earthquake – backquake

„Oh, today it’s your birthday“, said the doctor. „Congratulation“

I am not kidding: after several attempts of celebrating my birthday in an unforgettable manner since I became 69 (I wrote about it before), my birthday this time is the first one which fitted in the overall situation and athmosphere in the world around me: fragile, partly broken, dystopic. I do not only refer to the terroristic attack in Berlin shortly before christmas. I mean the gush in of disturbing events which were so near to me in space, time and emotion that I could not turn away. 

Midst August, my husband and me went to Italy, to a nice place at Laggo Maggiore, to celebrate a birthday of a friend and collegues who invited a lot of people from our common past. We met a couple again who were beloved friends and we had nice hours in a wonderful weather with good food and excellent wine. Hours before the programm started with an evening-concert in a church – all around Händel – I felt a heavy pain in my back. No doubt: it was a damaged disc! I was full of  anger and frustration because I could not take part in the programm and the wonderful excursion with the boat next day to the isle of Borromei and the expected excellent lunch. Instead I was occupied in thoughts how I could go on  with my husband to our destination in the south of Italy, an area in the Marken, where we were supposed to meet friends who are living there several times in a year. I could not walk , not a single step, but I could sit.  Next day, it was a sunday, we went to the emergency unit in the local hospital and after an exploration by the doctor and a first injection we decided to go on and drive several hundreds of kilometres to meet our friends. How lucky I was in my bad luck that my husband is a doctor who could give me the other 5 injections to heal my pain. It was due to this treatment that I had no longer pain in sitting and sleeping, but I could not walk more than 10 steps, later 15 and than 20, till the pain came back and forced me to sit down immediately. With these conditions in mind,  we four: Anne and Chris, Otto and me,   had a wonderful week. It was the most inspiring and wonderful  time we had together, ever.  Our meals took place outside the house with a wonderful view to the mountains. We sat under a tree overloaden with figs which were riping while we were there. My friend Anne cooked phantastic meals, Chris offered self bakened bread and wine. And til late in the night we sat under a  growing moon and were discussing and exploring a lot of themes, especially personal ones like being creative in our age or how to deal with the fear of and the abhorrence at death. No thought was unspoken. 

One day before the first earthquake in the night 23./24.8.2016 Otto and me had to go home, and next day we heard at a telephonecall from our friends about the damages of the earthquake. The house was nearly rotten, but the final blow came weeks later in the second period of earthquakes. Since then the house is no longer a place to live in, to repair it would cost an amount more than 100000 Euro. And our friends decided to give it up. 

Meanwhile, there are other thoughts. Beause the area is so beautiful, so quiet and their friends in the near-by village are so familiar, there is a new plan, that their son Nick is building a wooden house on the ruins of the old ones after the final demolition. A wooden house is supposed to stand against earthquakes. We will see, but something is clear: This project will be the project of the next generation. I have to repeat it: Projects of the next generation. We old ones are out. There is only limited time left for smaller projects. And what is interesting enought to start with and take the effort and trouble of a beginning? My former chief in the psychosomatic hospital in Heidelberg started to learn surfing after his 60th birthday. I try with over 70 to learn the baroque-flute. And I know that this will not lead to a kind of mastership. 

What can help to explore and learn new things in old age? How it is possible to be curious of the world and other people even there is a lot of dark and insecure atmosphere and political and social scenery around us?

I will mention two people: The journalist and writer Roger Willemsen who died this summer with 60 years was a person who was committed to several social and political activities. He love to interfere in different things. I think he loved to interfere in the structure of the world. I miss his voice to the ongoing madness.

Timothy Snyder in Lettre International (issue 115, winter 2016), read by Arno Widman and mentioned in the Berliner Zeitung 7./8. january 2017: twenty proposals to keep the freedom in the deprivation of freedom. Proposal nr. 10 says: Try yourself in new body-politics. Power will like to see how your body become soft in your easy-chair and how your emotions will fall flat ineffectively on the television screen. Go out of the house. Abandon your body to unfamiliar locations and unfamiliar people. 

It is that why I am here in Berlin?

everyday life

beaten by my time in berlin?

The post, I wrote three hours before, ended up in a nowhere, I couldn’t find it anymore.

I wrote about the exciting experience I had till now in Berlin, including some ups and downs. I wrote about the difficulties which broke out in my marriage. We had discussions about old themes which were very harsh, next day we were one heart/one soul. In my lost post I assumed that the distance by living apart most of the week led to a lack of flexibility and elasticity.

Analyzing happened and followed psychoanalytical standards. But it did not help.

In the moment we have the following agreement: wrong choice of the partner. We try to go away from thinking in „WE“, instead we want to find out our individual wishes, longings, attitudes, our personal handwriting and script.

I will finish now because of the unreliability of my ipad in the moment.

everyday life

How to live in these days – that’s the question

when I decided to go to Berlin for one year it was clear to me that besides my personal pleasure ( my 10year old granddaughter, going to movies, listening to lectures from psychoanalysts and other scientists, visiting exhibitions, writing), I wanted to do some work in the social field. When there was a question from the IPU (International Psychoanalytic University) for supervison in a student´s project I immediately answered.

In this project students in psychology look after refugees in different settings. My first group worked in a refugee-camp near the mainstation in Berlin. It is a socalled emergency accomodation, that means refugees are here only for a certain time til there is another place for them to be. Up to 300 persons can live here in two huge halls, one for the women and the social places, the other for the men. The halls are subdivided  into smaller „open cages“ for sleeping. The refugees are not locked in, but I found this expression suitable for these places which are open to the ceiling of the hall. They give place for 4 beds, one above another so that 8 people can sleep here and be here during the daytime if they wish.

My students were lucky because one of them came from Iran and spoke farsi, the language wich is also understood in Afghanistan. It was clear that she was frequently asked for a talk, for an advice, for a listening to the stories of some refugees, and it was clear, too, that this was an overwhelming experience and a huge burdening. One of the refugees showed a picture in his handy, laughing, do you want to see my friend? It was a picture of his friend, dead.

The trauma of difficult and often horrible flights cannot be contained in the moment. We do not have enough psychotherapists in Berlin or elsewhere who are competent in this field. My students do there best, but psychotherapy with refugees is not their job. They can help to make their everyday life a little better: to help them with bureaucracy (very important!!!), to find addresses and accompany them to clinics and physicians, to explain to them differences in cultural attitudes. I found one event very helpful and inspiring: my farsi-speaking student organized a cooking-event with a dozen of refugees. They had a lot of fun, the people were active and enjoyed the coming together.

everyday life

Daily prompt: Island

It was a sensation this triumph over England in the now running Championship of European Soccer. It happened on monday the 27. of June in Nizza, France that a country unknown for playing soccer in a bigger standard defeated this glorious nation. Another aspect of the „Brexit“. 

In my newspaper appeared on monday the 3rd of july one side with facts about Island, called „Niceland“: This small island, but what it achieved against England  was absolutely great. This remark was followed by ten things which one should know about Island (like Björk, the unbelievable singer, or that Island has the oldest existing parliament in the world since 930). But what struck me most was the hint that the Icelander are people of books. They have an ancestor – the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson, 1178-1241 – who gave in his „Snorra Edda“ instructions how to write nordic heroic stories. Now I cite out of the article: „Even til today the Icelander read and write with enthusiasm. Iceland has no army of its own but a writer´s association“. 

This evening we will see who wins the play France against Island and who will be our opponent in the match on thursday the 7. of July. I wish a „Halbfinale“ with the Icelanders.

everyday life

Isn´t it wonderful?

After a long time of living, thinking, feeling, here is a restart again.

I wanted to find the posts I wrote already, but it was impossible. So I decided to see me as a person who makes all the faults which are possible. It is so.

I had been at the Berlinale (february) and only one film is still in my head: Wu Tu (My Land). The film is made in China in 2015. The director is Fan Jian who is also the man behind the camera. It is the story of two activists who live in resistance to a social and political system. They give support to landworkers who are wandering from one place to another to find a job. The film shows how the activists fight against the social system which tries to frighten them by cutting electricity and water. But they don’t give up. On the place where they live investors plan to build high buildings for wealthy people.

There is one scene in the movie which touches me most: The couple together with friends deals with the constant harassment by the bureaucracy. The do it by role playing. While they are taking the roles of the bureaucrats, exaggerating their behavior, their gestures and voices,  they free themselves by mocking at their opponents.

Only one film! Can it be that it is mostly the athmosphere in the Berlinale cinemas which is enjoying? The impression of glamour while the wheather around the cinemas is unfriendly, cold and rainy? The magnificant golden ball on the screen which bursts out into stars, millions of them, accompanied by a powerful music?

My husband says: You should have gone into the right movies.


everyday life

Being at the Berlinale

I know that I will be disappointed from about half of the films I have choosen. It has to do with difficulties of getting Tickets. I decided not to stand in line at one of the ticket counters but to buy them  online. The First Time in my life and therefore a challenge. Everything was new for me in this sphere and everything what could fail did fail. Films, I wanted to see were either not

available online or were already sold out. (Movies in the competition. Or movies with famous actors). Ouch! Before I became too frustrated, I changed my procedure: I was looking for my free days and chose  one or two films in these days, not really looking  for the content.  But there was my conviction that there could be no real flop. This procedure took a lot of time. Next: before I could book a ticket, I had to create a account, but not on the app „Berlinale“. It took time again. At the end with the right account and a lot of possibilities I booked tickets like a maniac, click, click and click. I decided for the culinary cinema – a film with dinner afterwards. You could choose your own place. I clicked several times at a place near the screen, grey dots, but the procedure didn´t move on. Only 5 red Spots were seen, but I did not want to sit so far from the screen, and I decided to try it next day again. Sometimes wisdom comes overnight: The red dots were the only seats still available and they were sold out the next mornin! Ouch again.

To make it short now: I managed to book 10 films. And I managed to load the tickets down and stored all 10 tickets in an app on my iphone. It took me several telephonecalls and a lot of excitement, but at the end I was very, very satisfied if not proud.

In my next post I will tell you more about the films I saw – some brilliant among them.