East Meets West: The Films of Ulrike Ottinger

March 8–June 28, 2020

In conjunction with the MATRIX exhibition of her photographs, Ulrike Ottinger returns to BAMPFA for a series of her films, which encompass ethnography, history, and fantasy. “Watching her films is like traveling through an undiscovered country of marvels” (Village Voice).

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  • Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia

  • Twelve Chairs

  • Chamisso's Shadow

  • Taiga

  • Prater

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Exile Shanghai

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 1997

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, March 8 1 PM

    Fascinating and rich with wry humor, Exile Shanghai is an extraordinary cultural odyssey that affectionately conjures up the lost Jewish world of 1930s Shanghai.

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  • Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia

    Ulrike Ottinger
    West Germany, 1989

    Digital Restoration

    • Thursday, March 19 7 PM
    Ulrike Ottinger in Person

    The epic adventure of seven Western women travelers on the Trans-Siberian Express who are ambushed by a band of Mongol horsewomen. “A rare and remarkable film. . . . Sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational” (New Yorker).

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  • Laocoon & Sons: The Story of the Transformation of Esmeralda del Rio

    Ulrike Ottinger
    West Germany, 1972–73

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, March 21 2:30 PM
    Ulrike Ottinger in Person

    Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and featuring Tabea Blumenschein in multiple roles, Ottinger’s visually striking debut film is an allegory on themes of death, destruction, and resurrection. With short Superbia—The Pride.

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  • Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 1: Alaska and the Aleutian Islands

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 2016
    • Sunday, March 22 12 PM
    Ulrike Ottinger in Person

    Ottinger traces the paths of past explorers in a multipart exploration of the peoples, landscapes, and legends of the Bering Sea. This extraordinarily beautiful work is perhaps Ottinger’s magnum opus.

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  • Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 2, Part 1: Chukotka

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 2016
    • Saturday, March 28 1 PM

    The second chapter in Ottinger’s voyage to the far north takes her to Chukotka in the Russian Far East, where Asia faces America across the narrow Bering Strait and a society of sea hunters still depend on their catch of fish, seals, and whales.

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  • Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 2, Part 2: Chukotka and Wrangel Island

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 2016
    • Sunday, March 29 1 PM

    Continuing her exploration of Chukotka and points north, Ottinger documents varied facets of the region’s natural, cultural, and political history, and travels to the remote outpost of Wrangel Island, home to polar bears and a few hardy humans.

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  • Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 3: Kamchatka and Bering Island

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 2016
    • Saturday, April 4 1 PM

    Ottinger’s Bering Sea voyage concludes with Bering Island and the peninsula of Kamchatka, a land long held in tension between continuity and displacement, beauty and exploitation.

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  • Twelve Chairs

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 2004

    Digital Restoration

    • Tuesday, April 7 6:30 PM
    • Wednesday, May 20 7 PM

    Ottinger’s glorious adaptation of a 1920s Ukrainian Soviet satire is both a picaresque post-revolutionary tale of avarice and a fascinating document of Ukraine circa 2004.

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  • Under Snow

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, Japan, 2011

    Digital Restoration

    • Friday, April 24 4 PM

    In a film that is part documentary, part myth, Ottinger transports us to the Echigo region of northwestern Japan, where heavy snow blankets the landscape for more than half the year and distinctive ways of life have evolved.

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  • Prater

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, Austria, 2007

    Imported 35mm Print

    • Thursday, June 4 7 PM

    Ottinger’s award-winning documentary on the Prater amusement park in Vienna draws a parallel between the illusionary business of carnival freak shows and the bygone era of a cinema of attractions.

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  • Taiga, Parts 1–6

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 1992

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, June 7 12 PM

    Ottinger’s serenely beautiful, eight-hour ethnographic project Taiga is a study in epic time, a journey through northern Mongolia structured in ten parts. This screening includes parts one through six. “Fascinating . . . a landmark in the West’s attempts to represent the East” (Cinemaya).

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  • Taiga, Parts 7–10

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 1992

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, June 7 6 PM
    • Sunday, June 14 12 PM

    As Ottinger’s epic Mongolian trek moves toward its conclusion, the narrative shifts from the wilderness to the towns of the Mongolian-Russian period, ending in the urban environs of Ulaanbaatar.

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  • Freak Orlando

    Ulrike Ottinger
    West Germany, 1981

    Digital Restoration

    • Wednesday, June 24 7 PM

    “Virginia Woolf meets the German camp underground in this extravaganza of performance art and oddity” (Jonathan Rosenbaum). Ottinger’s gender-bending, boundary-breaking fantasy of world history features Magdalena Montezuma, Delphine Seyrig, and Eddie Constantine.

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  • Countdown

    Ulrike Ottinger
    Germany, 1990

    30th Anniversary Screening!

    • Sunday, June 28 1 PM

    In this observational documentary filmed in Berlin and environs over the ten-day period leading up to the unification of the German currencies on July 1, 1990, Ottinger captures a city and a world on the brink of transition.

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