Goethe on Demand – Exposure: Our Social (Media) Lives


Photo: Searching Eva © J Mazuch, CORSO Film

Free Canada-wide now at Toronto.Goethe-on-Demand.de
with English subtitles

Presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto
with the McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology

From duck face to our continuously mirrored Zoom faces, from “accept all cookies” to compulsive oversharing on social media, our relationship with our digital data selves has, for better or worse, transgressed and dissolved the boundaries between public and private. Three recent German films reveal varied expressions of exposure and tell captivating e-stories around enigmatic, intriguing and perhaps familiar characters. Thinkers from Toronto’s McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology give us their take on the shifting mediated faultlines around our splintered identities.

Searching Eva

Documentary by Pia Hellenthal, Germany 2019
In Searching Eva, the titular young woman is taking the idea of digital exposure to the extreme: The fluid and restless model and Instagrammer constantly projects and reinterprets her multiple identities through photo shoots and selfies, her reality is fully virtual and yet mysterious.

Nominated for a Berlinale Teddy, CPH:DOX Award, German Film Critics Award, Sheffield International Documentary Festival Youth Jury Award

Bonus Material
Contextualized by T.L. Cowan, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Cultures and the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at UofT. Previously Presidential Visiting Professor in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, and Chair of Experimental Pedagogies in the School of Media Studies at The New School. Cowan’s research focuses on networks of minoritized digital media and performance practices, incl. an upcoming monograph on the translocal methods of trans-feminist and queer cabaret in Montreal, Mexico City and New York City. She is the co-author of Checking In: Feminist Labor in Networked Publics & Privates with Jasmine Rault.

Lomo: The Language Of Many Others

Drama/thriller by Julia Langhof starring Jonas Dassler (Never Look Away; The Golden Glove), Germany 2017
Lomo draws us into the volatile universe of affluent Berlin teenagers. Karl dedicates his every waking minute to his blog. A first romantic disappointment takes him down a radical and risky path: From now on, he lets his blog followers tell him how to live and what to do.

Best Young Actor Bavarian Film Award, CPH:DOX Politiken’s Audience Award Nominee, First Steps Award Michael Ballhaus Prize (Camera), Munich Film Festival Young German Cinema Award (Screenwriting)

Bonus Material
Contextualized by Réka Gál, a PhD student at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. With a master’s in Cultural Studies from Humboldt-Universität Berlin. Her work unites feminist media theory and postcolonial studies with the history of science and environmental studies and explores how technological tools and scientific methods are employed to purportedly solve socio-political problems.

The Cleaners

Documentary by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck, Germany 2018
The Cleaners (Sundance; Hot Docs) is the much-lauded deep dive tracing secretive data cleaning crews to Facebook’s and Google’s Asian tech “sweatshops,” revealing the corporate pressures and mental health toll to underpaid workers deleting violence and hatred before they hit our screens and eyeballs.

Prix Europa Documentary of the Year 2018, Best Film Docudays UA International Documentary Human Rights Festival, Best Director German Directors Award Metropolis, Best Documentary Moscow International Film Festival

Bonus Material
Contextualized by Grayson Lee, a PhD student at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on South Korea’s digital culture industry and transnational formations of culture, drawing on social sciences and humanities to connect political economy with digital imaginaries through media.


Program & Media Contact:
Jutta Brendemühl
Program Curator
Goethe-Institut Toronto

German Film @ Canada

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