In the Weimar Republic, in the years between 1918 and 1933, film emerged as a new form of art. Dubbed the ‘seventh art’, it was experienced collectively and in public in the cinema.

The rise of the modern mass medium was swift. Cinema in the 1920s provided scope for experimentation and formed the nucleus for today’s international film aesthetic. German film production and, with it, directors like Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and Fritz Lang and actors like Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings achieved worldwide recognition, and for a while the German film industry was seen as a serious competitor to Hollywood. The exhibition sheds light on what was new and original about the new medium and on its relationship and interplay with literature, the fine arts, architecture, psychology and socio-political developments.

The mise-en-scène of the exhibition and a series of media installations foreground the ground-breaking innovations. Another focus is on the cinema-going public of the period whose perception of the world was substantially shaped by the novel cinematic language.