Tag Archives: Goethe Institut

Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco: Feb 9-15, 2018

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Listen Up, Everyone! Berlin & Beyond – The German Film Festival is Coming to Town

On Friday, 09 February 2018, the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival, presented annually by the Goethe- Institut San Francisco, will kick off its 22nd year at San Francisco’s historic and iconic Castro Theatre (February 9th-11th). Expect red carpet premieres, with actors and filmmakers in attendance, along with screenings – for the first time – at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley on February 12th, and at the auditorium of the Goethe-Institut in Downtown San Francisco from February 13th-15th.

With an annual attendance of more than 10,000 film-goers, the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival has been the leading festival of contemporary German cinema in the Americas since 1996, and has presented more than 500 motion pictures, along with the presence of celebrated film figures, including Fatih Akin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Daniel Brühl, Hannelore Elsner, Florian David Fitz, Bruno Ganz, Maria Schrader, Barbara Sukowa, and Wim Wenders.


The opening night film, Welcome to Germany (Willkommen bei den Hartmanns), begins at 6:30pm on Friday, 09 February 2018 (a Northern California premiere). In the film, a well-off Munich family offers boarding to Diallo, a refugee from Nigeria. Their lives are tested when they have to face racism, bureaucracy, and terror suspicions because of him. A timely social comedy, Welcome to Germany, was the highest grossing German film at the local box office in 2016 and first part of 2017 with more than 3.5 million admissions. The film’s Writer and Director, Simon Verhoeven, will be in attendance.


The festival’s Centerpiece Film, The Bloom of Yesterday (Die Blumen von Gestern), directed by Chris Kraus, will enjoy its San Francisco Premiere at 6:30pm on Saturday, Feb 10th at the Castro Theater. In this film starring: Lars Eidinger, Adèle Haenel, Jan Josef Liefers, and Hannah Herzsprung a Holocaust scholar (who is secretly the grandson of a Nazi war criminal), takes on an intern who is the granddaughter of a Holocaust victim. The mismatched pair bond over familial legacies and stumble towards romance.

Lars Eidinger (Personal Shopper, Clouds of Sils Maria), who plays Totila Blumen, will be in attendance.


Also celebrating a San Francisco premiere is the Castro closing night film, Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden (Egon Schiele: Tod und Mädchen), directed by Dieter Berner, and starring Noah Saavedra, Maresi Riegner, Valerie Pachner, and Marie Jung.

This film takes us to the beginning of the 20th century when Egon Schiele was one of the most provocative artists in Vienna. His life and work are driven by beautiful women and an era that is coming to an end. Two women will have a lasting impact on him – his sister and first muse Gerti, and 17-year-old Wally, arguably Schiele’s one true love, immortalized in his famous painting “Death and the Maiden”. Schiele’s radical paintings scandalize Viennese society, and Schiele is also prepared to sacrifice love and life for his art.

The Castro closing night film will screen on Sunday, February 11th, at 8:30pm.

Tickets and passes are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, and at select venues. Visit www.berlinbeyond.com to view the film schedule, to purchase tickets, and for more information about the festival and venues, including helpful transit and parking hints!

See you there at #BerlinBeyond22 !

The Venues:
Castro Theater (Feb. 09-11) 429 Castro Street (at Market) San Francisco CA 94114
Landmark Theatres Shattuck Cinemas (Feb. 12) 2230 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley CA 94704
Goethe-Institut Auditorium (Feb. 13-15) 530 Bush Street (street entry, near Grant) San Francisco CA 94108

CREDITS: Images Courtesy Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, Photo Copyrights (see underneath images):  ©Warner Bros Entertainment, ©Edith Held/DOR FILM-WEST/Four Minutes Filmproduktion/DOR Film, ©Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion


Christopher Chin is an accomplished underwater videographer and writer who has traveled extensively and speaks several languages. He studied German at the University of California, Berkeley, and quickly fell in love with the German language, culture and people. In early 2006, Christopher co-founded The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), and currently serves as its Executive Director.

Christopher is an internationally recognized expert in ocean policy and conservation issues, and has provided valuable and persuasive testimony to various governing and legislative bodies in the U.S. and in Canada, and he has had the privilege of addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on two separate occasions.




As Richard Wagner’s 200 Birthday Nears – Staged Reading of ” Richard and Felix – Twilight in Venice” at the Goethe Institut L.A.

Staged Reading of “Richard and Felix in Venice”
Tuesday, May 21st 2013, 7:30 pm 

Richard Wagner and his second wife Cosima, who...

Richard Wagner and his second wife Cosima, who established the Bayreuth canon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A short synopsis of the play:

Venice Italy, February 13, 1883. Composer Richard Wagner is seen at the window overlooking the Canale Grand in Venice.

As the music of Felix Mendelssohn plays, Mendelssohn himself, dead since 1847, appears to Wagner from beyond the grave.
Although in reality, the two had but three brief encounters, Richard and Felix: Twilight in Venice provides a fictionalized meeting and discussion between the two composers during the final hours of Wagner’s life.
The dramatic exchanges between the two composers explore not only Wagner’s fascination and animosity toward Mendelssohn’s music, but also examine the music of the time.
Although not a typical topic for the two composers, or their contemporaries the topic of Wagner’s relationship to Judaism—viewed through 21 century eyes— is also explored.

Presented by USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, the German-American Cultural Society (GACS) and the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.

Richard and Felix: Twilight in Venice, had its world premiere in 2010 in Hollywood’s MET THEATRE, and this staged reading will reunite the original cast.
Performed by: Don Paul (Richard Wagner), Jerry Weil (Felix Mendelssohn), Channing Chase (Cosima Wagner), Kelly Chatman (Lover), Christina Linhardt (Narrator)
The evening is produced by Cornelius Schnauber, the author of the play, Emeritus Associate Professor of USC and Founding Director and Director Emeritus of USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, and is sponsored by USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss- Studies, as well as the German-American Cultural Society (GACS).
English translation by Tom Schnauber.

Reception following the event. RSVP required.
$1 Validated Parking at Wilshire Courtyard West Building (P1) on weekends and evenings after 6:00 pm (events only) Related links

Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
$7 General Admission, $4 for students, seniors, GACS members, Free for Friends of Goethe
RSVP: +1 213 7432707

 Article / Event Source: Goethe Institut Los Angeles

Goethe-Institut Los Angeles Holding “Rockin’ The Wall” Screening with Director & Writer

Director Marc Leif and Writer Larry Shweikart will be screening their latest documentary ”Rockin’ the Wall” with a special Q&A on September 13 at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.  ”Rockin’ the Wall” is based on Shweikart’s book Seven Events That Made America America and tells the story of the role Rock and Roll played in bringing down the Berlin Wall.  The film interviews several well-known rock musicians, including David Paich (Toto), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), and Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot), as well as individuals who experienced life behind the Soviet controlled side of the wall.

“Rockin’ the Wall” shows that music was a liberating force behind the Iron Curtain and helped give strength to the anti-communist revolution.  The September 13 screening is a great opportunity to talk with the director and writer of the film to get an even better understanding of this often unrecognized movement.  Admission is free of charge and the film screening starts at 7pm.

If you are unable to make it, you can still see the film by purchasing your own copy of the DVD.  Check out the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles websitefor more details on the event or head on over to the “Rockin’ the Wall” website to order a copy of the DVD.

Source: Geothe-Institut Los AngelesRockinthewall.com
Article Source: German Pulse

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The Challenges Of Raising A Bilingual Child

Bringing up a bilingual or in fact even multilingual child isn’t always an easy task. Lots of unforeseen challenges often lay ahead and even with good intentions it’s often hard to follow through.

When our now eight-year old son was born it was simply expected that he would learn to speak German along with English.  There were several reasons for it. An important one was that I wanted him to be able to communicate with my parents whose knowledge of the English language would not have been sufficient enough for building a deeper relationship with my son, their grandchild. Another reason was that I had raised my older son, who was born in Germany, bilingual, and I naturally wanted to give the younger brother the same advantage of being comfortable in two languages as well as cultures – since with the language comes along also a deeper understanding of the particular culture. I had learned that early on myself that being able to dive into conversations with the natives when visiting a foreign country opens up a complete different perspective, and makes one understand people of a particular country more in depth, including their values and what makes them drive.

Challenges Ahead

What concerned us, we were initially thinking of raising our son trilingual, since my husband’s native tongue is Spanish. As much as our decision of raising our little son with three languages seemed like a very sensible one at first, it turned out to come with a lot of challenges along the way.

Feeling left out

One easily forgets that someone not understanding and speaking the other language might feel left out eventually. This often happens to be the spouse, but also other family like grandmothers, aunts, uncles etc. What we experienced in our family was that following through on speaking German with our little guy demanded a lot of patience and trust of others in the family particularly my husband whose German was limited at that time . Constant open mindedness was absolutely important for both parties in this endeavor, in addition to being consistent with speaking German despite discouraging looks and comments of people around.

Connecting to your child in your native language

Speaking of consistency, we learned first hand how hard it is for the parent who is working full time to follow through on using his/her native language. Since the main “family language” was English among us and our older children, my husband had a hard time to follow through on speaking Spanish only with our little son. He felt he couldn’t connect to his son properly since all the little guy heard during the day was either German or English. Slowly but surely my husband’s Spanish gave way to English in the end. Only now since our son is learning Spanish in school my husband experiments with speaking some Spanish with him also at home.

My child understands but doesn’t want to speak the language

Another quite common challenge I often hear about is that kids sometimes refuse speaking in the second language despite the fact that they fully understand everything. This was also the case with my older son. We had moved to California when he had just turned six years old. Even though he was already fluent in English and German at that time, he hated it when I addressed him speaking German in public. He didn’t want to be different and my speaking German to him embarrassed him in front of his friends. He constantly answered back in English and begged me to “speak normal” meaning using English when conversing with him. I then tried to reduce my German speaking to conversations at home, and ignored the fact that he was answering back in English. Today one of his courses in college is German literature after all.

Once all these various difficulties have been addressed in one way or another, it can be a very rewarding experience to raise a child with more than just one language. In our case it was not only our little son who benefitted from it and now can chat along with his cousins in Germany, but my husband learned to speak and understand German as well.

Constant immersion into the second language is one important key to success  

I believe it is very important to have the other language/s be a constant component in the daily life of a multilingual child. It is critical to implement a natural understanding of the other (native) languages especially in the very early stages of childhood. If my son wanted to watch a movie or listen to a story when he was little,  it had to be in German. Now that he is older and has his friends from school over I am more relaxed regarding German, even though our personal communication continues to be in German.

A great support not only for the child but also the specific parent I found, is initiating friendships with other children who grow up learning the same language. Join a German mother-child group or a German Immersion Kindergarten or start your own. Find some resources here on our website. Helpful in finding likeminded families can also be attending one of the German Saturday schools throughout California.

Find creative ways to immerse your child into German to strengthen those language skills. Have him/her listen to German books on tapes which make car rides fun. Watch German kids movies or TV series like Biene Maja or Die Sendung mit der Maus , and enjoy reading to them in German as well! There is great reading material out there and so much new kids & youth literature to discover, be it by German or English authors. Just get the book in German instead of English. We for example can’t get enough of Cornelia Funke’s books these days, but also can’t wait for the next book in Michael Buckley’s series “Die Grimm Akten” (engl title: “The Sisters Grimm”). They are all being read passionately in our house.

Finding adequate reading/movie material

The Goethe Institut in Los Angeles has an extensive media room and offers children even to rent out German movies. They host book fairs and Saturday movie mornings for children. There is also plenty of literature online these days, try the online libraries of the Gutenberg Projekt for example, which offer 10,000 titles for free including a great selection of Märchen and other children stories. If you are looking for a particular book or movie, try Amazon.de, they will send German movies oversees.

Should you worry about your child not learning English properly?

My experience is that since we are living in the U.S. and we are surrounded by people speaking English, one shouldn’t worry. The environment our children are growing up in is infused by the English language. Wherever they go they will most likely be addressed in English. They will have neighborhood friends who will speak English. And, as soon as your child attends Kindergarten or school he/she will make even more English speaking friends and therefore easily  learn to transition into English whenever needed and master it in perfection as well.

So dive into the fun of (re)discovering German literature and movies for your child and for yourself, and make it an enjoyable learning adventure for everyone in the family.

Finding a German Kindergarten, School, German Immersion School

Check out CaliforniaGermans Resources


Further Reading Material of Interest:

Article on Language Immersion Programs for Children:  http://www.pbs.org/teachers/earlychildhood/articles/language.html

KPCC – Bilingual Learning Report   http://projects.scpr.org/bilinguallearning/#options


“Global Communication Begins at Home” http://www.multilingualliving.com/2012/04/24/the-abcs-of-multilingual-parenting-the-letter-t/#more-8222

Language Development – Bilingual Children http://www.babyzone.com/baby/language-development/raising-bilingual-children_73233-page-2

Foreign Language Learning for Adults: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120328172212.htm

“Better living through Language Immersion” http://socialexpat.nymgo.com/?p=1242

Article on Raising a Child Bilingual: http://forward.com/articles/154652/why-my-daughter-isnt-bilingual-yet/?picks_feed=true

“German in a Multicultural World” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/education/edlife/german-in-a-multicultural-world.html?pagewanted=2&_r=4

“What Role Does German Play Internationally”       http://www.magazin-deutschland.de/en/artikel-en/article/article/welche-rolle-spielt-deutsch-international.html

Online Gutenberg Book Catalog:  http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/5502/1