18.04. ‐ 23.04.2023

LICHTER'S ANNUAL THEME 2023: LOVE

“Language has long since posited the equivalence of love and war: in both cases, it is a matter of conquering, ravishing, capturing, etc.” – Roland Barthes

Nationalisms solidify, autocracies gain strength – in Europe as well. Resentments and hatred spread, in social media as well as in politics. The idea of democracy has once been described through the imagine of being without haven: we all roam a ship on the open sea, no port far and wide where we can dock and simply leave – neither to change to another ship nor to go ashore and go our safe and own way. On this ship, in order to have an understanding with each other and to balance perpetual changes of direction without any possibility of ever arriving anywhere fully, we need a mediating understanding, a constructive dialogue.

But the functional logic of social media awards hyperbole, commotion and confrontation. In his recently published book "Kapital und Ressentiment", the literary scholar Joseph Vogl speaks of the exploitation of resentment and then states: "There can be no socially productive, politically democratic social network under the condition of its radical marketing.”

In a time when hate is omnipresent opens up immense anti-democratic potential, the 16th LICHTER Filmfest would like to dedicate its yearly theme to Love. Less as a misunderstood, cheesy and seemingly naïve opposition – which would be indifference anyway - and more as a sphere that includes hate, in which the coldness of people towards each other can be explored and at the same time sound out the chances and necessities of love as well as its own abysses. As a vocabulary and dialogue, friendship and partnership, utopia and promise, pegagogy and spirituality, eroticism and sexuality, politics and in that possible solidarity.