Sunday, May 20, 1990

The Germans and Their Men by Helke Sander

San Francisco Art Institute

The Germans and Their Men (1989) by Helke Sander, 96 minutes. Sander has been called “the most radical feminist in West Germany” (Christel Buschmann), whose influence in the European Feminist movement since the late 1960’s extends through several films, theater works, and as founder and editor-in-chief of the theoretical journal Frauen und Film (from 1974 to 1981). In her fourth feature-length film, Sander has constructed a bitingly ironic and revealing portrait of contemporary sexual mores which mixes fact and fiction. An actress (played by Renée Felden) spends her vacations on a quest for ‘a man in Bonn,’ where she undertakes to actually interview members of Parliament, State Secretaries, taxi drivers, theatergoers, men in the street, officials, and the Federal Chancellor. Discussions veer uncomfortably between issues such as rape, prostitution, and marriage, as a complex picture of women as understood by men emerges.

pictured: The Germans and Their Men (1989) by Helke Sander