Two shorts, of which the first, Eine Prämie für Irene, is meant as a critique of the traditional working-class film in which men predominate. The second short, Britannia, casts a satirical eye on British cultural identity.
Eine Prämie für Irene (1971)
“Allein machen sie dich ein” (They’ll get you if you’re alone) sang German rock group Ton Steine Scherben and the line would make a good title for both Helke Sander’s first medium-length film Eine Prämie für Irene. We see situations out of the life of a divorced woman worker with two children, going from despair to action, from individual attempts to collective action.
Sander portrays Irene, a single mother who works in a washing machine factory. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, whether in relation to unequal treatment at work or sexual harassment from men. But it’s clear she doesn’t stand a chance without solidarity from other women.
‘Britannia’ is traditionally known as the national personification of Britain. A helmeted female warrior holding a trident as a symbol of her hegemony over the oceans. Originally Britannia was understood as a martial virgin, a brave and pure lady. In this short animation Joanna Quinn challenges this iconography with pen and paper by transforming her into the muscular, hefty body of a British Bulldog.
Britannia takes a satirical look at British cultural identity. The animated short shows how Britain, driven by lust for power and money, robbed other countries of their pride and national prosperity through colonization.
This screening is part of Cineforum Festival, taking place on the 23rd and 24th of September.