ISSN: 1601829X
First published in 2002
1 issues per volume
Volume 7 Issue 1
Cover Date: October 2009
Making metapictures political: public screenings of the fall of the Berlin Wall
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Authors:  Sunil Manghani 
DOI: 10.1386/nl.7.113_1

Keywords
Berlin Wall, Goodbye Lenin!, Helden Wie Wir, Metapictures, Public Sphere, Public Screen

Abstract
The fall of the Berlin Wall was a global media-event. Yet, little critical attention has been given to the images of this event. Two film comedies, Helden Wie Wir/Heroes Like Us (Sebastian Peterson, 1999) and Goodbye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2002), are examined, which offer potentially novel visual deliberation over this political, media spectacle. It is argued that the concept of the public sphere is eclipsed by what recent commentators term the ‘public screen’, which accepts the conditions of a mediated public arena for contemporary debate and opinion-making. However, drawing insight from a concept of the ‘metapicture’, this essay extends the notion of the public screen to that of public screening, with the films under analysis shown to offer layered, loaded narratives that do not simply add to the public screen, but provide a point of concentration whereby a public can ‘screen’ or ‘filter through’ multiple aspects of a media event.
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