Neo-feminist Mütterfilm? The emotional politics of Margarethe von Trotta's Rosenstrasse

Anna Maree Parkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Released in 2003 in Germany to critical acclaim, Rosenstrafie (Rosenstrasse) indicated that Margarethe von Trotta, Germany's foremost female film director, who has offered the most sustained and successful female variant of Autorenkino in postwar German film history, is alive and well.1 It is worthwhile asking, however, what kind of politics-feminist and otherwise-is being offered to the viewer of von Trotta's Rosenstrasse. Does what I term her &" Mutterfilme" (mother films) continue the feminist politics of von Trotta's earlier doppelganger or "sister" films? How does von Trotta's first feature film directly and consistently thematizing the period of German National Socialism represent the intersection with or traversal of the political terrain of memory with that of feminism? Is fiction blurred with fact in this film through its claim to authenticity as it declares the historical veracity of the women's protest in Rose Street in February 1943; and if so, to what end? To address these questions, it is necessary to ask after the nature of the work performed by the figure of the mother in von Trotta's film. Which assumptions underlie the different levels of mobility represented by gentile women's bodies and those of Jewish women, for example? And what type of relationships are being staged between male Jewish and female non-Jewish German bodies at the level of the explicit narrative of National Socialist domination and genocide as well as through the feminist narrative for which the film becomes a vehicle? And, finally, does von Trotta's neofeminist return to German screen memories in Rosenstrasse significantly depart from her existing palette of films about women?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Collapse of the Conventional
Subtitle of host publicationGerman Film and its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century
PublisherWayne State University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9780814333778
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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