Natalie Dudar '08

Negotiating the Diaspora: Bleeding Boundaries in Faith Akin's Dialectical Cinema

My project explored three of German-Turkish director Fatih Akin's works: Kurz und Schmerzlos (1998), Im Juli (2000), and Gegen die Wand (2004).  In looking at all three of these works, which Akin wrote and directed, it is evident that a common stylistic and narrative thread binds these works together despite their superficial disparities.  Throughout his works, Akin develops a dialectical approach to portraying and universalizing the experience of second- and third-generation German-Turks.  Akin bleeds the boundaries between seeming opposites in order to render obsolete notions of mutual exclusivity.  Akin leaves his endings open and the tensions within the narrative unresolved in order to create a sense within the viewer that liminality offers a possible solution to inhabiting multiple identities. 

Exploring this topic allowed me to combine several facets of my educational training at Bowdoin, as well as explore current dynamics of German culture unavailable through a traditional course.  Through my investigation I not only deepened my understanding of the current political and ethnic climate of Germany, but also opened a door to a possible focus in my future years of German study.

Natalie Dudar currently works for Teach for America in Los Angeles and simultaneously pursues a M.A.T. She plans to return to Germany afterwards, teaching and doing research before completing a Ph.D. in the United States