Mein Leben Teil 2 (My Life Part 2)



35 mm.
color / b&w


On my 18th birthday, my mother handed me a piece of paper on which she had written 10 points that she wanted to pass on to me in adulthood. Item one read: “The purpose of our lives is to evolve towards perfection. Nothing that is created and good is ever thrown away. Everything builds on previous achievements.

You are descended from Joseph’s brother Levi, who lived 3,000 years ago.“ My mother collated and archived her own life. I inherited it and made it into a film that is primarily about perception, my legacy and addressing history.

My film is an attempt to tell what was told and not told in my family, using objects, photos, audio and video material. The film is about trauma and at the same time about how history can be produced, archived, brought into conversations and categories, ed both at the macro- and microlevel, and how I continued to collect so that I could tell a story.

Angelika Levi


It’s very hard to avoid thinking in terms of perpetrators and victims.

I deliberately avoided it while working with the material because I thought it was important to show the complexity of the connections. It was a process. I think I used to want to identify more strongly with the Jewish side and leave out the contradictions. Working on the film helped me to begin seeing things much

more precisely. I also tried to portray my mother and grandmother not as victims, but as women who fought in their own way (mainly with humor and irony) and developed their own ways of transforming painful experiences into stories, suffering into something bearable.

(from an interview by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, 2003)


The film is a box within a box. On the outside there is the story of her family and the story of her mother’s life. But it soon becomes apparent that the filmmaker has ordered her mother’s records in such a way that she is using the archive to reflect on what needed to be suppressed or displaced, and what has to be put right: the grandmother’s, mother’s and daughter’s sensitivity to the “German situation,“ the power of the generation of perpetrators and collaborators to say what is and is not true, and their descendents, who seem to enjoy the privilege of not having to consider their family’s past. It is a sensitivity deemed pathological by the majoritarian society in order to distract attention away from itself. 

Madeleine Bernstorff


Credits: Screenplay, director: Angelika Levi. Director of photography: Antje Schäfer, Angelika Levi. Camera assistent: Markus Otto. Sound: Inger Schwarz, Ulrike Vetter, Anja Fix. Music: Marta Monserrat. Montage: Angelika Levi. Online-editing: Friederike Anders. Sounddesign: Holger Müller. Soundmix: Alex Leser. Production design: Goga Letic. Lightning: Branka Letic. Production Team: Thomas Becker-Levi, Natalia Lizama, Martin Zawadzki. Translation: Patricia Lüdicke, Karl Hoffmann. Production: celestefilm, Angelika Levi, in co-production with ZDF- Das Kleine Fernsehspiel, Redaktion Burkhard Althoff. With backing from Film Fund NW, Künstlerinnenprogramm des Berliner Senats.

With: Ursula Becker Levi, Karla Levi Heins, Robert Levi, Johannes Becker, Angelika Levi, Thomas Becker Levi, Claus Peter Westrich (Historiker), Rolf Schädler (Photograph des Stadtarchivs Neustadt), Helmut Hoffmann (Archivar des Stadtarchivs Neustadt), Rabbiner Walter Rothschild (jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin), Herr und Frau Herzfeld (Santiago de Chile), Gretel Ackermann (Santiago de Chile), subsonic live in Blockschock Berlin, 1984, u.a.

Premiere: 11. Februar 2003, 53. internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin Internationales Forum, Berlin.

Awards: 27. Filmweek of Duisburg: Sponsorship award of the city Duisburg, Germany. Second Award for long documentary: Jewish Filmfestival Warsaw, Poland. Audience award: Lesbian and Gay Filmdays Hamburg, Germany. „Mein Leben Teil 2“ is part of the Visual Center of Yad Vashem, Israel.


Press kit [DE]


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!