Berlin Diary is a visual account of my observations in Berlin, focusing particularly on the city's foreigners in the winter and springtime of 2010 and 2011. The film portrays various types of foreigners, Turkish, Kurdish and Arab people from the second and third generation of former Gastarbeiter, but also street musicians and other people who try to make the best of their life in this European metropolis. Many times I fell in conversation with foreigners in U or S-Bahn stations. Most of them told me that they feel at home in Berlin. I wanted to know how these foreigners live and survive and what ìfeeling at homeî in Berlin actually means to them.
The film is also a personal account because I have lived in Berlin for a large part of my life, as well as many years in Amsterdam. A Dutch friend of mine once said: ìIn Amsterdam you're not really at home, but you're not a foreigner either.î And a friend in Berlin said to me: ìBut you're not at home anymore in Berlin.î From this uprooted starting point I tried to find out why Berlin is so attractive to foreigner nowadays.
I filmed without any premeditated plans, using a small digital camera, simply following my intuition or some particular visual attractions of the city: in winter, when people flee into the underground from the cold, or in springtime, when the citizens all seem to emerge from their hide-outs to enjoy the first sunshine.
Concept & camera + sound & editing: Rosemarie Blank
2nd camera: Yvonne Mohr
Artistic adviser: Jan Wouter van Reijen
Production: © 2011 Casafilm Amsterdam Postproduction: Doceyefilm Amsterdam
2015 Grand Prix, for BERLIN DIARY Apricot Tree, International Ethnographic Film Festival, Yerevan, Armenia