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Journal Article

Retrieving History: Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne and Juliane

Susan E. Linville
PMLA
Vol. 106, No. 3 (May, 1991), pp. 446-458
DOI: 10.2307/462778
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462778
Page Count: 13
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Retrieving History: Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne and Juliane
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Abstract

Marginalized herself in discussions of the New German Cinema, Margarethe von Trotta sets out in her film Marianne and Juliane (Die bleierne Zeit) to recover the experiences of women as subjects in history. Using feminism as her lens, von Trotta deconstructs and re-visions history through a fictionalized version of the lives of Gudrun Ensslin, a member of the Red Army Faction, and her sister Christiane, a feminist journalist. Von Trotta presents their story from the perspective of Juliane-Christiane, whose memories reveal parallels between public and private, past and present forms of repression and who rediscovers the importance of sororal and maternal bonding. The film emphasizes that the political and the historical are indivisible from the personal. In doing so, Marianne and Juliane politicizes spectatorship and destabilizes the economies of violence and gender on which many visual accounts of German history depend.

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