Event  |  Berlin (Germany)  |  July 2015
A German-Japanese open-air cinema

A cinema in Berlin-Mitte: during the Japan-cinema days the film »Maihime – The dancer« was on stage. Shot in the historic year of 1989, as the only East German-Japanese film production, the film tells the story of a young woman who gets desperate about her love to a Japanese man. A tragic story by true events on the threshold of the 20th century: Mori Rintaro sent as a young military doctor from Japan to Robert Koch at the Charité  for studies, falls in love with a young lady from Berlin; but returns without her to Japan, where he lived a rich life as a diplomat, philosopher and writer under the pseudonym Mori Ōgai. In his short story »The Dancing Girl« he recorded his unfulfilled love from Germany in 1890, which was then and is still today an exciting testimony of that time.

A garden in Berlin-Pankow, a summer evening: Fascinated by the film, Susanne Zippel has around 40 guests invited to a theater show of a different kind – just to that film, which is not available in commercial distribution. It is an evening of encounter: with friends and colleagues, with an intense love story as well as a historical film document, with the multi-faceted personality of Mori Ōgai. But also with the renowned expert on Japanese Studies Beate Wonde. As long-time head of the Berlin Mori Ōgai Memorial, she told versed and with great detail about the fascinating life of the doctor, writer and diplomat Mori Rintaro.

For Susanne Zippel, the film »Maihime – The Dancer« is by the way connected to personal memories: When she once worked for a publishing house in Berlin as a photographer, she walked, as many times, during their lunch break to the nearby Gendarmenmarkt. There she got involved in a movie shooting. And that this would be the film version of Mori Ōgais story, it becomes only clear for Susanne Zippel just 25 years later in the cinema »Arsenal« at Potsdamer Platz!