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Citizenship is a double-edged sword. For while it secures rights and freedoms for those who hold them, it excludes others from participating in them. The medium of film, which established itself as an influential and powerful mass medium in the early 20th century, served early on to communicate with citizens, which could include propagandistic intentions.

Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Einmal die Papiere bitte! Staatsbürgerschaften und das Kino
Getty Images, Fabio Pagani

The retrospective Einmal die Papiere bitte! Citizenships and the Cinema takes up aspects of the constitution of citizenship, of belonging to state communities and of the exclusion of groups - a topic that has been documented and reflected on again and again throughout the history of film. The film series takes place on the occasion of the exhibition Citizenships. France, Poland, Germany since 1789.

In the opening film Les arrivants (FR 2009), the director duo Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard follow Caroline and Colette, two colleagues who work in Paris at the CAFDA, a municipal drop-in centre for refugees, and who help to ensure that stories of flight that began in Ethiopia, Mongolia or Chechnya can come to an end in Europe. In their offices, Caroline and Colette sit across from people for whom staying at CAFDA is anything but an ordinary trip to the authorities and who face elaborate bureaucratic processes. An introduction will be given by the co-curator of the retrospective Mathias Barkhausen on 1 November 2022.
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