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“Generation War”: A Conversation Among Oliver Mahrdt, Andrew Nagorski, Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart, and Anne-Katrin Titze

Monday, January 27, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Deutsches Haus at NYU

Deutsches Haus presents a conversation about the mini-series Generation War (directed by Phillip Kadelbach) among Oliver Mahrdt, Andrew Nagorski, Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart, and Anne-Katrin Titze. Among the topics that will be discussed will be Generation War's historical context, its success in Germany, as well as its controversial reception in Poland.

Berlin, 1941: Five young Germans gather to celebrate their friendship and bid one another farewell. Generation War, a remarkable two-part epic that follows their lives through 1945, was a popular sensation in Germany (there appropriately titled, Our Mothers, Our Fathers) seen by more than 7 million. Its story sparked passionate debate about personal responsibility and the relative guilt of ordinary people for Nazi attrocities: Two brothers become Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern Front; a third man – a Jew – faces deportation to the camps and abuse by Polish partisans. Both women are profoundly compromised: one as an army nurse, another while trying to advance her career as “the next Marlene Dietrich.” A superb ensemble cast makes the fate of each of these characters essential, gripping drama -- as relevant today as 70 years ago.

Oliver Mahrdt grew up in Hockenheim and Heidelberg, Germany. He studied philosophy, marketing and tourism in Heidelberg and Ravensburg. After a brief successful acting career he continued studying directing at New York Film Academy, when he met the late and legendary agent Hanns Wolters, who was one of Marlene Dietrich’s first agents in Berlin in the 20s and 30s. He started working at Hanns Wolters Theatrical Agency in 1996. Today, he represents among many others, the German Film Industry in the United States, as well as Canada. His tasks include organization of high level events, orchestration of US Releases of German films, management of promotional campaigns and awards (Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, Golden Globes for Germany). He is co-author of Market Analysis of German Films in the US for the Cultural Ministry of Germany and Film Foerderungs Anstalt (FFA) with Eugene Hernandez, and he is the sole author of the follow up study published in 2007. He was also the co-curator of Hanns Wolters: Émigré Impressario  at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York City. He is an appointed member of Players Club, NYC. In 2007 he also became an appointed Member of the prestigious Heidelberg International Club.

Andrew Nagorski, who spent more than three decades as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek, is vice president and director of public policy for the EastWest Institute, an international affairs think tank with offices in New York, Brussels and Moscow. Nagorski is based in New York but continues to travel extensively, writing for numerous publications. His most recent book is Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power (Simon & Schuster, 2012). –
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Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart was born in Wuppertal, Germany. She trained as translator and worked from 1962 to 1995 at Goethe House/Goethe-Institut New York, organizing cultural programming. Since 1979, she was its Program Coordinator for Film and Media with emphasis on New German Cinema. She was a member of the International Jury of the Berlin Film Festival in 1985, member of the International Jury of the Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 1987 and 1996, the Mannheim Film Festival in 1988, and the EXPO International Short Film Festival New York in 2001 AND 2002. Since 1995 she has been a free-lance consultant for film and media and she also was an officer of The Fassbinder Foundation, Inc., New York. From 1997 to 1999 she was the president of the New York Film/Video Council and since 2002 she is the officer of its board. 

Anne-Katrin Titze (moderator) is the New York critic for Eye For Film. She is a lecturer on fiction, film, fashion, and fairy tales. Recent features include conversations with Sam Shepard, Claire Denis, Paolo Sorrentino, Wong Kar Wai, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Isabelle Huppert. Her essay in Dialogue and Disquiet: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue will be published by Fordham University Press in 2014. She is also on Indiewire's Criticwire, a contributor to Women and Hollywood and has been a festival jury member.

Generation War
can be seen at Film Forum starting January 15th and is distributed by Music Box Films. (Trailer)

The New York Times
The Village Voice
The New Yorker

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. Please let us know which event you would like to attend by sending us an email to Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you! Please make sure to RSVP for this event even if you had already RSVP'd for the original date on January 21.