Berlin is a city with a never-ending film festival season. While there is Berlinale, with its growing international reputation, there are also countless independent festivals that deserve to be seen. One close to our heart is the Berlin Feminist Film Week.
What do we mean when we talk about feminism? We are writing the year 2017 and a woman identifying as a feminist can still spark a debate about whether this aligns with appearing half naked on a magazine cover. (Is this how feminists begin fighting each other?) Women facing the end of their thirties are being harassed with the question of when they will have children. (Why is having none at all rarely considered an option?) Anxiety and depression are a still a social taboo. (And why do only women break the silence?) Black women and women of color often don’t feel represented by the mainstream feminist debate. (Are white feminists’ narratives repeating the oppression of patriarchy?) If you’re missing equal pay and misogynist state leaders in this enumeration, be assured the list is not nearly complete. And most of all, it will not be the same list for every woman.
While the women’s marches and global solidarity make us feel united in our fight, we also know that there is no such thing as the one feminism. At their core, the struggles are still individual. Speaking of feminism in 2017 could mean looking at the diversity of female identity, like the Berlin Feminist Film Week does. Aiming at creating a platform for all who do not feel represented by mainstream cinema, this year’s BFFW once more puts forward the narratives of “female, queer non-binary, trans and PoC characters,” contributing to a wider understanding of what feminism can be today.
The Berlin Feminist Film Week is running from March 8–14 at Agora Rollberg. Make sure to have a look at the full program at the BFFM’s website and don’t miss the opening at Babylon and the closing party at ACUD.
If you’re not in Berlin, or can’t make the festival dates, you can watch Cecile Emeke’s documentary series Strolling online here.
Film stills: Courtesy of BFFW
Text: Vanessa Oberin