Berlin and Beyond: Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years (2012)

Dagmar Schultz’s witty, engaging, humorous, and loving documentary on Audre Lorde felt both timely and nostalgic at the same time. Timely, because it reminded me of the fragility of the feminist movement and the current attempts by many American politicians to undermine it. Timely because of the ongoing conversations and debates about immigration in Europe in light of the recession. Timely for me because of all the films I’ve seen this year about artists who speak out for a living (Ai Wei Wei, Iranian directors, Marjane Satrapi, et al.)

Nostalgia for that time when I was in college and reading Audre Lorde and feeling exhilarated and strange and powerful all at once. Miss Schultz captures the feeling of reading Ms. Lorde’s poetry for the first time. It is thrilling, regardless of whether you’re black/feminist/female/lesbian/into poetry. It is surprising to realize that she passed away 20 years ago – generations of women continue to be influenced by her.

The political and personal need and imperative to speak, to be heard, and more important, to document is the key driver in this very personal documentary.

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992, dir. Dagmar Schultz, 79 mins. 2012. In German and English

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