in media res


The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum(1975) and the media by aristea F

I am here referring to the Volker Schloendorff and Margarehthe von Trotta film and not the 1974 novelle by Heinrich Böll. Katharina, a woman that leads a quiet life, meets an anarchist -evidently linked to the Red Army Faction- and takes him to her house where they make love. After he escapes, her life is completely destroyed by the journalists and the police investigations.

Part of the New German Cinema of the 1960s, the film is the work of German filmmakers from the left who “challenged the Establishment history of the terrorist movement” (Hoerschelmann, 2001 : 86). I will not go into the theme of the imagined terrorism and the hysterical reaction of the state. I am more interested in the dualism ‘virgin-whore’ as that is represented in the film and the ideas of gender in general.

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