‘Cold War’ was a crowd pleaser at the Benton

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Thursday afternoon, the Benton Museum hosted a film screening of Cold War (2018) and discussion with UConn EuroTech partner and German Studies professor Friedemann Weidauer. The screening was part of the Human Rights Institute Film Series at UConn, and Weidaur shared his experiences of growing up in Germany during the Cold War.  Photos by Avery Bikerman/The Daily Campus

Thursday afternoon, the Benton Museum hosted a film screening of Cold War (2018) and discussion with UConn EuroTech partner and German Studies professor Friedemann Weidauer. The screening was part of the Human Rights Institute Film Series at UConn, and Weidaur shared his experiences of growing up in Germany during the Cold War. Photos by Avery Bikerman/The Daily Campus

The William Benton Museum of Art hosted a screening of the awarding winning film “Cold War.” The event took place yesterday evening on Feb. 20, and featured free refreshments including cookies from Insomnia Cookies. The screening was part of the Human Rights Institute Film Series and was organized by Assistant Curator/Academic Liaison Amanda Douberley.  

“The screening of ‘Cold War’ is intended to give the University of Connecticut community a different perspective on the time period that the prints in the exhibition [Demokracja Grafika] were created in,” Douberley said when asked why the Benton was screening the film.  

“Just hoping to learn a little bit, maybe put some faces to what actually happened in history,” Alexandra Schaible, a sixth-semester psychology and HDFS double major said on what she was hoping to get out of seeing “Cold War.” Schaible was attending the screening as part of a project for her human rights class. Her prior knowledge of the film came from her AP U.S. history class.  


The “Cold War” screening at the Benton.

The “Cold War” screening at the Benton.

“Cold War” was directed by Paweł Pawlikowski and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 10, 2018. The movie follows a relationship between a singer named Zula (Joanna Kulig) and a musician named Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) during the Cold War. Zula is discovered by Wiktor at a government-sponsored folk music ensemble and they immediately fall in love. Their relationship is unstable, however, and it gets more complicated as both of their careers progress. Pawlikowski went on to win Best Director at Cannes and was nominated for Best Director at the 91st Academy Awards. 

After the film ended, German studies professor Friedman Weidauer spoke to the audience to talk about his experience with the Cold War and answer questions from the audience.  

“What I still regret about living in Berlin in the 80s, seeing the war every day, that we weren’t questioning the status quo, it was just a given” Weiddauer said. Weidauer got his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and later got a position at the University of Connecticut. He has been with UConn for 22 years. 

If you are further interested in Poland and the Cold War, The Benton will be hosting an ISSS Coffee Hour between 2 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. The session will focus on Demokracja Grafika, an exhibit that features works from Cold War-era Poland. Professor Emeritus of Printmaking Gus Mazzocca gave more than 150 prints to the university as a gift after he received them through an exchange program with the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. The exhibit will be on display until March 13 and is a collaboration between the Department of Art and Art History, UConn Global Affairs, Special Collections and the UConn Library. 

If you would like more information regarding Demokracja Grafika or any events happening at the Benton, visit benton.uconn.edu or call them at 860-486-4520. They also post updates about events and exhibits on social media. 


Ian Ward is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ian.ward@uconn.edu.

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