The Machine That Kills Bad People: The German Sisters + Rat Life and Diet in North America
Institute of Contemporary Arts

The German Sisters (Die Bleierne Zeit), Dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1981, 35mm transferred to DCP, colour, sound, 107 min.

This screening brings together Margarethe von Trotta’s The German Sisters (1981) and Joyce Wieland’s Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968).

Margarethe von Trotta’s New German Cinema classic The German Sisters is a study of sisterhood based on the real-life story of the Ensslin sisters. Juliane and Marianne have taken divergent paths in pursuit of political emancipation in post-war West Germany. Juliane is a feminist activist, and Marianne is a violent revolutionary in a Baader-Meinhof-like terrorist group. Following Marianne’s arrest, Juliane is forced to contend with the brutal powers of the state.

Joyce Weiland’s Rat Life and Diet in North America is a jail-break satire in which rats escape from political imprisonment in the United States and make an escape to Canada. Made in 1968, this witty political allegory intercuts newsreel footage of revolution and rebellion as the rats hone their skills as guerilla fighters. 

Programme:

The German Sisters (Die Bleierne Zeit), Dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1981, 35mm transferred to DCP, colour, sound, 107 min.

Rat Life and Diet in North America, Dir. Joyce Wieland, 1968, 16mm, colour, sound, 16 min.

A specially commissioned essay by Lucy Reynolds accompanies this screening.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

 
06:30 pm
Sat, 23 Mar 2019
Cinema 1

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated.

Red Membership includes free access to all programmes for £16.66 / month.

Essay by Lucy Reynolds