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October 2000 - Nr. 10


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Film Museum opens in Berlin

TWIG - Marlene Dietrich’s daughter Maria Riva joined leading lights of the German film industry Tuesday evening (September 26) for the gala opening of the new Filmmuseum Berlin. Housed in the recently completed Berliner Filmhaus on Potsdamer Platz, the museum features an extensive display of Dietrich memorabilia and such icons of German cinema as the angel wings from Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s director’s chair, and the mask worn by Klaus Kinski in the Werner Herzog film Nosferatu. In all, some 1,500 items document German film history from its beginnings around 1900 to the present, Special exhibits focus on the silent classics of the Weimar era, the propaganda films created by Leni Riefenstahl during the Nazi regime, and the fate of the many actors and directors who fled Europe for Hollywood after Hitler took power.

Riva voiced her hope during Tuesday’s festivities that visitors will remember Dietrich for her political convictions as well as her talent on screen. "My mother was a Prussian and a Berliner and turned against the Hitler regime in 1931." Dietrich emigrated to the United States with director Josef von Sternberg in the 1930s and spent the rest of her life in exile. The exhibit includes the USO uniform she wore while entertaining U.S. troops in Europe and Africa during World War II.

Drawing on the archive of the Deutsche Kinemathek, the Filmmuseum holds items from the estates of Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch and some 300 other actors and directors, as well as around 9,000 films, 30,000 film scripts, 20,000 posters and more than a million movie stills.

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