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Screening Religion

Once a month, we screen international documentaries and movies rarely seen in German cinemas. Religion features in every film, be it as a catalyst for negotiation processes or a source of conflict, a marker of identity or a constitutive element of social background. Thus, we seek to screen films on religion whilst simultaneously screening for “religion” as a cinematic object.

Some of the films will be presented by their directors, others will be introduced by KFG scholars. We look forward to a curious, cosmopolitan audience to join us on a journey of discovery and in countless lively exchanges.

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Shoot Me

directed by Narges Kalhor
22 May 2019 | 6 p.m.
venue: Strohsack-Passage (Nikolaistraße 8−10, room 5.55)

In her award-winning documentary “Shoot Me” ( (co-directed with Benedikt Schwarzer) from 2014 Kalhor portrays the exile Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi. When he published a song named after a Shiite prophet that deals with many of Iran’s political and social problems, he was confronted with death threats.

Introduction: Adrian Hermann

REASON. The war between faith and rationality

directed by Anand Patwardhan
19 June 2019 | 5 p.m.
venue: Bibliotheca Albertina, Vortragssaal (Beethovenstraße 6)

In what is perhaps his most urgent and thorough exploration of Indian society yet, renowned documentarian Anand Patwardhan charts his country’s slide away from secular democracy and toward divisions of power, caste, and religious belief — and the violence that has followed.

Introduction: Nadja-Christina Schneider


directed by Vikram Gandhi
17 July 2019 | 7 p.m.
venue: Bibliotheca Albertina, Vortragssaal (Beethovenstraße 6)

Sri Kumaré is an enlightened guru from the East who has come to America to spread his teachings. After three months in Phoenix, Kumaré has found a group of devoted students who embrace him as a true spiritual teacher. But beneath his long beard, deep penetrating eyes, and his endless smile, Kumaré has a secret he is about to unveil to his disciples: he is not real. Kumaré is really Vikram Gandhi, an American filmmaker from New Jersey who wanted to see if he could transform himself into a guru and build a following of real people. Now, he is conflicted -- can he unveil the truth to these disciples with whom he has spent so much time, and who now look to him for guidance?

Introduction: Adrian Hermann

Mata tertutup (The Blindfold)

directed by Garin Nugroho
14 August 2019 | 7 p.m.
venue: Bibliotheca Albertina, Vortragssaal (Beethovenstraße 6)

The film is built around three loosely interwoven stories of young people who fall prey to a banned extremist Islamic sect called Negara Islam Indonesia (NII). The stories attempt to come at the phenomenon from different perspectives of wealth, age and gender, showing that this is a problem that crosses all these primary social distinctions, and hence has a salience for all major social groups.

Introduction: Leona Pröpper (Watch Indonesia!) & Saskia Schäfer

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer

directed by Rukminee Guha Thakurta
10 September 2019 | 7 p.m.
venue: Bibliotheca Albertina, Vortragssaal (Beethovenstraße 6)

"Mr & Mrs Iyer" was conceptualised as a love story set amidst violence but ultimately says a lot more. On the whole, the film reflects ace director Aparna Sen's humanism depicted through finely blended emotions. It mirrors a frightening reality in the wake of the WTC attacks and the Gujarat carnage through a masterfully told story. A masterful Sen captures contemporary India, its people and the social and political complexities within which they exist.

Introduction: Monika Wohlrab-Sahr