April 12, 2011
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The screening and director Q&A was originally part of the 2011 Birds Eye View Film Festival programme.
This special private screening event is free, but there is limited capacity so please RSVP by Friday 8 April with your name and any guests.
To celebrate the publication of The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, inaugurating Verso's major new translation project The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Birds Eye View Film Festival will be screening a 20th century classic chronicling the life of Rosa Luxemburg.
Cannes Palme D'Or nominee and Best Actress winner (for Barbara Sukowa's luminous performance), this is a sweeping biopic of radical socialist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), who struggled for revolution in Poland and democracy in Germany. From protests to war and love affairs to jail sentences, the film brilliantly captures the charisma and constant idealism of one of the 20th century's great political icons.
Screening followed by an exclusive discussion event with Margarethe von Trotta. A leading force of Germany's New Wave and the country's pre-eminent director of the 20th century, von Trotta won top international awards in each of the last four decades. Beginning her career as an actress in films by Fassbinder and Schlondorff (among others), her work as a director includes The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (German Film Award - Gold, 1976), The German Sisters (Venice Golden Lion, 1981), Friends and Husbands (Berlin Golden Bear nominee & OCIC Award, 1983), The Long Silence (Montreal Jury and Audience Prizes, 1993) and Rosenstrasse (Venice UNICEF Award, 2003).
This special filmmaker focus includes von Trotta's latest film Vision and the classic Rosa Luxemburg, plus a rare discussion event with the director.
Made possible with the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
Institute of Contemporary Arts
London, SW1Y 5AH UK
Sheila Rowbotham reviews The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg for the Guardian, bringing into relief the portrait of Luxemburg's passionate political and personal life painted by the letters:
George Shriver's new translation of The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg is the most comprehensive collection of her correspondence yet to appear in English. It transports us directly into the private world of a woman who has never lost her inspirational power as an original thinker and courageous activist in first the Marxist Social Democratic party, and then the German revolutionary group, the Spartacist League. She suffered for her convictions; jail sentences in 1904 and 1906 were followed by three and a half years in prison for opposing the first world war. Her brutal death at the hands of the militaristic Volunteer Corps during the 1919 workers uprising in Berlin has contributed to her mystique: she is revered as the revolutionary who never compromised. This collection of her letters reveals that the woman behind the mythic figure was also a compassionate, teasing, witty human being.
Citing Luxemburg as an influence on her own work, Rowbotham, the author of Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century and Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love, untangles Luxemburg's ambivalent relationship with the feminist movement of her time:
Luxemburg's criticism of Marxism as dogma and her stress on consciousness exerted an influence on the women's liberation movement which emerged in the late 60s and early 70s. When I was writing Woman's Consciousness, Man's World during 1971, I drew on her analysis in The Accumulation of Capital (1913) of capital's greedy quest for non-capitalist markets, adapting it as a metaphor for the commodification of sexual relations and the body