Representations of Germans and the use of language in Turkish-German films by Fatih Akin and Thomas Arslan
Whittier, Jason Bradford
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Over the past twenty-five years Turkish-German films have emerged and achieved prominence among German cinema. Tevfik Baser’s 1986 film 40 Quadratmeter Deutschland paved the way and inspired many of today’s successful and diverse Turkish-German directors. Recent research on Turkish-German cinema has been primarily concentrated on the representation of Turkish and bi-national identity issues in German society. However, another angle I examine in my thesis is the representation of non-minority Germans and the role of the German and Turkish language. I will focus my analysis on films by Fatih Akin and Thomas Arslan, who have had a significant impact in Turkish-German cinema. While these directors offer different perspectives on identity issues facing Turkish-Germans, both depict Germans as minorities within the confines of their own cities. One strategy for this marginalization of the majority revolves around these directors’ use of language and subtitles.