Historical “Truth,” Constructed Memory: Restaging Germany’s Reunification in Thomas Berger’s Television Melodrama Wir sind das Volk. Liebe kennt keine Grenzen (We are the people. Love without limits) (2008)

Katrin B Mascha

Abstract


Film and television are popular media for the (re)presentation of history and the depiction of momentous past events. Germany’s reunification is no exception. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany has witnessed a proliferation of media production that endeavors to historicize and aestheticize the past. This coincides with the need to forge a post-Wall identity of the new Germany. My discussion of Thomas Berger’s award winning television drama Wir sind das Volk. Liebe kennt keine Grenzen (2008) examines how reunification is presented in a mixture of fictitious elements and authentic historical reconstruction based on shared memories of this past. Following a melodramatic trajectory, the film aims at the reconciliation of German society as a people twenty years after reunification.


Keywords


German reunification; historical truth; constructed memory; melodrama; historical agency; reconciliation between East and West Germans

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2012.41

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