Cultural Encounters in Contemporary German Cinema: an introduction

Christopher Hall, Guido Rings
Only very recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the failure of "multicultural" policies in her country and stimulated a new debate about future scenarios of social inclusion and exclusion which reopens questions of coexistence vis-à-vis cultural interaction as well as the potential need to revise established identity constructs. The contributors to this special issue of GFL attempt to explore such questions from within contemporary cinematic productions, and most of them focus-just
more » ... of them focus-just like the German Chancellor-on German-Turkish relations within the Federal Republic and particularly on the position of second and third generation German Turks. The wide spectrum of different German, Turkish and German-Turkish portrayals of the Self and the Other will have to be investigated in more detail if new solutions to the old challenge of integrating people from different cultural backgrounds are to be found. However, German-Turkish cinema is not only of interest with regard to its projection of popular fears and hopes from all those perspectives, but because of its impact on increasing numbers of viewers who have become very familiar with the cinematic landscape developed by Fatih Akın and other well-known directors. Within this framework, Stefan Halft"s study focuses on paradigmatic changes in German-Turkish portrayals in the filmic discourse about migration (Wandel deutsch-türkischer Konstellationen im filmischen Migrationsdiskurs) and juxtaposes images of identity and otherness before German unification with hybrid constructs of German-Turkishness that have gained ground since the 1990s. As a result of these tendencies the author identifies new "intercultural constellations" which include intra-cultural aspects like generational conflicts and lifestyles and allow further investigation of structures of