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Journal Article

Women's History, Women's Melodrama: Deutschland, bleiche Mutter

Ellen E. Seiter
The German Quarterly
Vol. 59, No. 4 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 569-581
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Association of Teachers of German
DOI: 10.2307/406521
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/406521
Page Count: 13
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Women's History, Women's Melodrama: Deutschland, bleiche Mutter
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Abstract

The film Deutschland, bleiche Mutter by Helma Sanders-Brahms exemplifies the inherent problems in treating history and fascism through the generic codes of melodrama. As the work of a woman director dealing with autobiographical material and the mother-daughter relationship, the film deserves to be read not only as a product of the New German Cinema which typifies its preoccupation with history, but also in terms of feminist film theory and aesthetics. The paper analyzes the film's psychological reading of the maternal figure, its employment of realist and melodramatic codes, the function of the female voice-over, and the use of the mother as a metaphor for German history.

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