The Surface Tension Trilogy, 2015
The Surface Tension Trilogy is comprised of three experimental films tracking the rise and fall of the Weimar Era in Berlin through the perspectives of Frida Kahlo and Anita Berber, Hannah Höch, and Leni Riefenstahl and Eva Braun, each of them women who lived and worked in Berlin during this time. Experimenting with anachronistic modes of storytelling, these short films play with queering tropes of history production through the director’s choice of casting her friends, while also glimpsing at her current life in Berlin. Clearly shot in present-day Berlin, the choice to enact stories, relationships, and experiences that ‘may’ have happened suggests that history is made through the untold intimate moments of relationships in a certain time and space. Posing questions concerning the usefulness of nostalgia, history as lived experience and that way in which political and creative economy unfolds, The Surface Tension Trilogy looks at how history is discursive, hidden, and lived. Rosenfeld’s trilogy imitates a dialogue around how we can move forward in radicalizing how history, particularly queer history, is recorded.
The Surface Tension Trilogy hailed it’s world premiere at The Barbican (London, U.K,) in 2015 with the Berlin premier taking place shortly after at The Deutches Historical Museum’s Zeughauskino. It continues to screen internationally at art insitutaions and film festivals. This work is distributed by The Video Data Bank.
Order of Trilogy
Frida & Anita- Starring: Richard Hancock and Le Margoux
Frida & Anita depicts Rosenfeld’s imagined interaction between Anita Berber, an infamous chanteuse in Berlin during the 1920’s and activist and artist, Frida Kahlo. Frida & Anita encapsulates all the deliciously romantic clichés of Weimar, while also looking at a possible, yet unlikely, convergence between these figures. It is an account of a love affair between two iconic artists during theWeimar period that speaks to Rosenfeld’s present day life and the inspirational queer artists and activists in her community.
Höch- Starring: Vika Kirchenbauer, Marit östberg, Hannes Ribarits, Tina Ribarits, James Roslind, Tom Weller, Birte Endrejat
Höch, a pseudo-documentary focusing on the Dadaist artist Hannah Höch as she reflects on her experiences living working during the Weimar period. Rosenfeld conducts an interview questioning Höch (as interpreted by people from the artist’s community) about her skepticism regarding the way nostalgia is being co-opted to experience a notion of radicality, decades later. She wonders why the youth of 1970’s Berlin are so interested in feeling and trying to channel and fabricate the sense of reckless abandon they believe existed in Berlin in the 1920s. Höch compares the socio-political landscape of Berlin in the 1970’s to its romanticized past of the Weimar Era, while questioning the usefulness of nostalgia as a politically emotive tool.
Die Neue Frau- Starring: Susanne Sachesse and Marie Popall
Set in the final years of The Weimar Republic, ‘Die Neue Frau’ portraits Hitler’s lover Eva Braun and the infamous Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl through the lens of Riefenstahl’s personal home movies. Rosenfeld imagines these two women as integral witnesses of Berlin’s transition from decadence into fascism while engaging in an ambiguous and sexually charged relationship.
Written and Directed by Liz Rosenfeld
Produced by nowMomentnow
Text by Jana Morrison
- Christa Holka
- Christa Holka
- Alexa Vachon