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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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Bits of Conversation

Bits of Conversation

(p.142) 9 Bits of Conversation
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at an interview between Alexander Kluge and Enno Patalas and his wife, Frieda Grafe, which was published in the film journal Filmkritik shortly after Kluge received the Special Jury Prize at the 1966 Venice Film Festival. This interview provides insights into the making of Kluge's first feature, Yesterday Girl (1966). The child of Jewish parents, the main character Anita became acquainted with persecution during the Third Reich. It is a pervasive belief that a child who was eight years old in 1945 was not directly affected, but rather was only threatened and could therefore not actually be seriously defined by it. Kluge claims that this is obviously not true. When he thinks about his own childhood, he may not have understood what was happening exactly, but he registered the power relations very clearly; he understood quite accurately the hierarchy, which was quite different from today's. Kluge then explains that Anita and her story are specific to the Federal Republic. Her story would be a different one if she lived in a different society. And it would also be a different one if Germany had a different history.

Keywords:   Alexander Kluge, Enno Patalas, Frieda Grafe, Yesterday Girl, Third Reich, power relations, hierarchy, Federal Republic, Germany

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