This November marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In honor of this historic moment, the European Union Center has created a film series on campus to bring a little more history to campus.
The event, which kicked off on Sept. 17 with the Czech Republic Film Up and Down, takes place in the Lucy Ellis Lounge of the Foreign Languages Building. The second film, Three Colors: White, is a French and Polish film and will be shown on Oct. 8. The series continues with No Place to Go, a German film, on Nov. 9, and wraps up with another German film, Lives of the Others on Nov. 11. This last film will include an introduction and discussion by faculty member Anke Pinkert.
“We wanted to commemorate the post-20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall,” said Sebnem Ozkan, the outreach coordinator at the European Union Center.
Ozkan explained that each of these films relates somehow to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the societies affected by this event. “The over-arching theme is that these Eastern and Central Eastern societies have been in transition since 1989 and these films explore the changes in these societies,” said Ozkan. “They are all telling stories about Europe and people in Europe and how the eastern European countries have changed after the Berlin Wall came down.”
For Ozkan, cultural events such as this film series are very important in a university setting. “These films, for example, are a chance for them [the students] to see a piece of history that they were not exposed to,” said Ozkan, who pointed out that many undergrads currently on campus weren’t even alive for the fall of the Berlin Wall. “It was a different world.”
Ozkan explained that students can relate these movies and to what is currently going on in the world. “Some of the themes are very relevant [to what’s going on now]” said Ozkan. “It might be helpful to compare and contrast how people in other parts of the world were dealing with similar issues,” noted Ozkan.
In fact, an aim of the event was that “students get more exposure to international events and an idea of what’s going on with the rest of the world,” said Ozkan.
But the series strives to do more than purely offer more exposure to international events and history. According to Ozkan, an important aspect of the series is that it offers a chance for students to socialize with a broader, more diverse group of students. “We have a very sizable international student population on campus,” said Onken. “Learning something about these students, and their countries should also help American students to better understand their friends or forge new friendships and relationships.”

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