Selected comments on the film, and on Audre Lorde in Germany

Kirsten Tilleman, Oregon, United States

“My discussion group and I met recently after watching Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years, and had a fantastic discussion! Every 1-2 weeks this year we’ve been watching films centering Black women and then meeting over video calls to talk about them. This film was the first international film we’ve watched. It was also the most intimate footage; we felt that we were almost right there with Audre and all of you.

Audre’s words and spirit and wisdom are clear in the film. We each found ourselves constantly pausing, rewinding, and rewatching clips throughout the film so that we could hear it again and write down quotes. It also led us to talk about feminist women of color movements outside the United States, which was new information for all of us. We appreciated the further opening of our eyes.

What a treasure you all have shared with the world. Thank you!”

Warmly, Kirsten Tilleman, Oregon, United States

Yvonne Aspengren, The State University of New York at New Paltz

Dagmar and Ika, What a pleasure and an honor it was for us to have you screen your film on our campus. Students were inspired and energized, as were faculty, by Audre Lorde’s strength, wisdom and joyful spirit, and quite moved by your dedication to her legacy. Audre challenges and encourages us to listen carefully, to act honestly and to speak out. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to experience and discuss Audre Lorde -The Berlin Years with you!

Mara Viveros, Goethe Institute in Bogota

It was a wonderful experience to get to know through this documentary, new Audre Lorde’s facettes. She was so full of life, so inhabited by her struggles, and at the same time so nourished by the love of the people that surrounded her!It was strong to notice how much she left a deep footprint in these people

September 21, 2017 • Vu Michelle Horwitz, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa

Capetown, South Africa
With Kealeboga 'Mase' Ramaru, Jan-Louise Lewin, Yaliwe Clarke, Dagmar Schultz, and Ika Hügel-Marshall at the University of Cape Town


I just wanted to let you know that the screening on Wednesday (Sept. 20) was a roaring success! We were anticipating that the students would be inspired and awed by the film, but the response was so much better than we ever could have expected!

There were cheers and cries throughout the screening, and almost each student had a question or comment for afterwards. I hope you won't mind me letting you know that these are third year Fine Art students who have never before been introduced to nor grappled with queer or radical theories in an academic context. This course (and this being the first week thereof) is their first gateway to the kinds of ideas and ways of thinking both Audre, and films like yours, exemplify.

In a place and time of great identity questioning and so many shifts for our generation, this group of students is particularly hungry not just for answers, but (I hope!) ways to unravel those answers for themselves - in meaningful and probing ways - and through art! So thank you so much for making the path of educator so much easier and clearer - please continue with everything you are doing! :P

With warm wishes of gratitude Vu Michelle Horwitz, teaching a third year Fine Art course titled Reading the Contemporary: Strategies for Survival, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 21, 2017

Mayra Rodriguez Castro, Central Kino, Berlin


I had my first meal in Berlin at Bejte Ethiopia, a restaurant on Zietenstraße 8. I now know this was Audre’s home at the end of the eighties. That night I sat alone and ordered a small Injera dish with a glass of Prosecco. I watched imaginary girls; Audre would’ve seen them standing outside her window on Bulöwstraße, too young to be prostitutes.

During my first month in Germany I walked down this almost-street on the afternoons. In July, a bush of pink roses started to grow right in front of the restaurant and I couldn’t stop myself from visiting it. Maybe I was looking for her. I didn’t know that Audre had paved the way for me to proudly stand there, and I was happy to see her laying this foundation in your film. And she does so not only in her poetry and activism, but also in the way she stirred her cappuccinos, how she wore her cowboy hat and laid by the canal. How she carefully sliced beets like making a poem.

I heard of Audre before, here in Berlin she has often been my only company. During my first nights I read from Zami until sun came out. Then I would call my mother, loving her in Audre’s words. Like Audre’s work, your film is an acknowledgement of the women who keep us alive, and who lead us home. Thank you for allowing me to sit in the presence of Audre, and for introducing me to the words of May Ayim.

Mayra Rodriguez Castro August 8, 2017

Katia Gabriela de Alba García, Cine Colectivo Aguascalientes

Hello Dagmar, good morning. It is a pleasure to greet you and to tell you that we have done Audre Lorde's documentary screening. So I want to send you the information you asked for. In the archive you will find a record of only some people who attended, sorry that few people are registered, is that the screening was in a main square and people come and go, it is difficult to try to keep a record in a street cinema. He also sent you some photographs of the projection, so that you can look at it for yourself.

Finally, I thank you again for trust in "Cine Colectivo Aguascalientes", the audience loves the movie. Good vibes and lots of hugs.
THANK YOU! -Katia Gabriela de Alba García-

Brian Graney Associate Director and Senior Archivist Black Film Center/Archive Indiana University

Dear Dagmar,

I was glad to see Shadow & Act feature your film yesterday in their list of “15 documentaries about Black women to watch as Women’s History Month comes to an end.” Perhaps you’ve already seen it, but if not, I just wanted to share it with you:

Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992” (2012) Dagmar Shultz’s film tells an untold chapter (the Berlin years) of the late writer, poet and activist, child of immigrants from Grenada, who died rather young at 58 years old in 1992. The film focuses on Audre Lorde’s years in Berlin during which she catalyzed the first movement of Black Germans to claim their identity as Afro-Germans. As she was inspiring Afro-Germans, she was also encouraging White German feminists to look at their own racism. The film serves as a historical document for future generations of Germans, profiling and highlighting, from the roots, the African presence in Germany, and the origins of the anti-racist movement before and after German reunification. It also offers analysis and an understanding of present-day debates on identity and racism in Germany. Consider it a companion piece to the 1994 documentary “A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde” by Ada Gray Griffin and Michelle Parkerson, which is also certainly a film you should see.

Best wishes, Brian Brian Graney

April 3, 2016: Jaime Peschiera, University of the Arts London

“I just saw your wonderful film at the Chisenhale Gallery in London. I am a lecturer on the BA (Hons) Film & Television programme (University of the Arts London) and I’d like to screen your film as part of curriculum. Thank you again for an amazing experience and an essential documentary about the amazing Audre Lorde.”
Best wishes, Jaime Peschiera

March 8, 2016 • Tommie Introna, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK

We screened the film last night and it was a really successful evening with a lot of positive feedback. In fact, the event was extremely popular and was fully booked within a few weeks with over 900 people 'interested' on Facebook. In light of this we thought that maybe we could screen the film a second time as there there is clearly a lot of people here in London who are keen to see it.

Arcilesbica a Pisa compie 10 anni
On January 29. 2015 Arcilesbica screened the film in Pisa at the occasion of the presentation of the Italian translation of Audre Lordes essays entitled Sorella Outsider and of her novel ZAMI. It is wonderful that Audre's work finally appears in Italian.

Dear Dagmar,

I write you to tell that yesterday we showed the movie and it was wonderful. Each one shared the strongness and the empowerment of Audre Lorde's words, example and lessons,
Thank you for your great work. Today we will present Zami and Sister outsider[s].

All my best,
Carlotta Monti

Fabiola Bahiyya Nabil Naguib, Vancouver, Canada: September 2014

Thank you for your loving tribute to Audre's life, work and loved ones - those she touched and those that clearly touched her. Your film is such a contribution to legacy, the legacy of witnessing, sharing, gathering, re/membering and loving!

Ulrika Dahl, Ph. D., School of Culture and Learning, Södertörn University

I recently saw your wonderful film about Audre Lorde here in Stockholm and was so moved and so excited to see her legacy passed on to new generations of activists. Her pedagogy, her spirit and her poetry are rich with lessons for all of us working on feminist and antiracist issues today. I encourage all (university) libraries to order it so that students can learn from her incredible work.
Ulrika Dahl, Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Södertörn University.
In solidarity, Ulrika
Ulrika Dahl, Ph. D. , Associate Professor of Gender Studies, School of Culture and Learning, Södertörn University

June 10, 2014 • Ginni Stern

Congratulations, Dagmar. It's a very compelling film, and captures the soul and spirit of Audre perfectly. Best, Ginni Stern

Jewelle Gomez, California College of the Arts screening, February 19, 2014

To All,
Thank you for the opportunity to feel Audre' presence so closely and to see the affect she still has on others. I never sit down to write w/out thinking of her.
sending all best

Glauco Ferreira, FaceBook, February 20, 2014

great, great movie... muito, muito bom esse filme

February 19, 2014: Professor Karen Fiss, California College of the Arts

I just wanted to thank you all again for making yesterday evening such a wonderful event. The screening was very well attended and the solidarity in the room was palpable - a lovely way to mark what would have been Audre Lorde's 80th year. It was a real pleasure to see the film again and to hear each of you speak to the uniqueness and continued importance of Audre's legacy. many thanks again! all best,
Professor Karen Fiss

Presente en La Habana, Cuba

The screening of AUDRE LORDE - THE BERLIN YEARS in Havanna on December 21 was a full success. There were about 50 persons present. The room is dedicated to the ballet dancer Alicia Alonso and is decorated with beautiful drawings and paintings of her. We gave a short introduction to the time period and the content. People watched the film very attentively and with great interest. The comments and the discussion after the screening showed that the viewers were very moved and also very grateful that we presented the film.
Perhaps you will receive further comments and requests.
Warm greetings: Sandra & Esmeralda

Kim Hester Williams from Sonoma State University

African-American university professor, Kim Hester Williams from Sonoma State University, related (in September 2013) that her students often find Audre Lorde intimidating and that she herself always thought of Audre as a very serious person: “[The Berlin Years offers] a very different and complimentary side of her. …This is an essential teaching tool, an essential work to have in the canon of Audre Lorde studies, gay and lesbian studies, feminist studies, gender studies … This film fills in a gap.”

Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Audre Lorde's daughter

Elizabeth Lorde-RollinsMy mother’s time in Berlin was very important to her, and I’m so glad that Dr. Dagmar Schultz and her team have created Audre Lorde: the Berlin Years to serve as not only a living record of that time, but also an inspiration. The film inspires me—as a cancer survivor, as an African-American woman of mixed race, and as a physician—not to be satisfied with what is, but to continue to work in service of my vision.

The film documents how crucial Manfred Kuno’s medical care was to my mother’s survival with metastatic breast cancer, but also how central and sustaining her work with Afro-German women became to her. These are pieces of Audre Lorde's life that have never been as clearly drawn as they are in Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years; however, as valuable as the film is from a historic viewpoint, I treasure its humanity and dignity, the deep respect with which it shows both my mother’s strengths and disappointments. I love how the film depicts my mother’s humor, and how she found so much laughter in her loving relationship with Gloria Joseph.

I think she would have loved the film—she adored the quote from Zora Neale Hurston, “I love myself when I am laughing—and again when I am mean and impressive,” and I think this film does a great job of showing Audre Lorde fighting fiercely, Audre Lorde galvanizing a movement and reveling in the work of her Afro-German sisters, and Audre Lorde dancing, laughing, and loving in what proved to be the last years of her life.

16ª Muestra Internacional de Cine Realizado por Mujeres: Universidad de Zaragoza, SIEM-Facultad de Medicina, Edificio B, Spain

…The screening was really interesting for all of us (there were 140 persons approximately). People told that the documentary was very emotive and at the same time very rigorous, with a very interesting information about Audre's feminism. Many people were not knowing the Audre's work in Germany, we only know of her as a poet, but her work, her feminism, was amazing. We cannot explain with my rudimentary English, but we think your documentary was the best in our Festival. We are very very happy, congratulations one more time!

Adrienne M. Anderson // founder/curator/director, INTERNATIONAL BLACK WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL
...celebrating over 10 years of moving images FORWARD

Greetings Dagmar:
The screening was wonderful as we received about 100 people to the free event. Three other filmmakers were in attendance and I'll be posting the video from their Q&A session soon ( I saw a table of local women studies educators from San Francisco State University (specifically Dr. Chinasole and about four colleagues). Many people asked about purchasing the DVD and I'll be posting a link to your site soon (via website, Twitter and Facebook).
Many of the audience members shared that they were not aware of how much Audre Lorde impacted the Afro-German movement and saw her accomplishments from another perspective. Thank you so much for your hard work, tireless research and vision in creating this documentary which is a true testament to Audre Lorde's life!
(I have also informally contacted actress Jada Pinkett-Smith in regards to the documentary as she and her daughter have been vocal supporters of the legacy and impact of Audre Lorde on their lives as Black feminist women. I've also forwarded your contact information to her.)
Warm Regards,

About the Special Features on the film DVD

Dear Dagmar,
I wanted to tell you that the special features of your film about Audre Lorde moved me a lot. One understands her position toward her poetic work and above all the perspective which she has gained after all those years. It truly is a gift to listen to her talking about it. Therefore I find this extra material of your film very important!
Karen Michelsen

Nottingham Women's Centre, September 25, 2013

The reaction was amazing—what a fabulous film!
We also were lucky enough to be joined by two women who were in Berlin and part of the course that Audre Lorde was delivering to at the time the film was made. They travelled across from Birmingham to see the film with us—brilliant!
Thanks and best wishes,
Melanie Jeffs, Centre Manager
Nottingham Women’s Centre

Organization of Women Writers of Africa: Yari Yari Ntaso: Continuing the Dialogue, Conference in Accra, Ghana, West Africa May 16-19, 2013

“Everyone enjoyed the screening—and people were clambering for the postcards!…. People continued to talk about the film and the issues it raised during the rest of the conference. I'm so happy we could screen it!” Rosamond S. King, Ph.D., Conference Director & Organization of Women Writers of Africa (OWWA), Executive Board Member

Twitter: Donna M. Alexander @americasstudies

#SundayScholar I follow @AudreLordeFilm as the documentary by Dagmar Schultz opened my mind to a whole aspect of Audre Lorde I didn't know.

Another successful screening: Radio Redmond in Amsterdam!

The filmscreening was a great success. It was completely sold out and people were really excited about the film, we had around 100 people in the theatre! We even had to fit people on the floor and the stairs. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to screen the movie. The interview with Gloria Wekker was also really nice and we had an important chat on the importance of black feminism and the work of Audre Lorde today.

translated from German by Dr. Dagmar Schultz

Gotlinde Magiriba Lwanga, Berlin 2012
“What shocked me is the up-to-dateness. On the one hand there are many more niches and much more space for Black identities and solidary bridges. On the other hand so little has changed in the white-German-German self-conception of superiority, in the ‘we’ that excludes the ‘others’, especially in schools, professional education and mainstream media… Thank you for your contribution against forgetting and for the dialogue between the generations. Webale nnyo, banabo!”

John M. Lwanga aka. (Johnny Strange, Culcha Candela), Gotlinde M. Lwanga's son, Berlin 2012
“I grew up as an Afrogerman child of the generation after the young women shown in the film. In my generation there were already many more of us, but above all we had the chance to grow up with more contact to our African parent. To see how difficult life was for Black Germans without this relation and above all without a respected identity in the public perception was quite fascinating for me and I could understand it very well through this film. John M. Lwanga aka.

Gabriele Zekina, Frauenkreise, Berlin, 2012 (An Eastgerman woman reflecting on the times after the wall came down)
“We were founded in 1992, a typical post-reunification ‘child’, born from the Eastgerman or better Eastberlin women’s movement...I found it so interesting and understandable in the film that those years were very alarming years as far as racist violence is concerned. I could understand in a somewhat different way why we ‘east women’ were met with so many feelings of resentment. The opening of the East seemed to call into question much of what Audre Lorde and you and many other women had been struggling for and you must have felt as if time was rewinding…”

Sandra Campe, Germany, 2012
“I personally was once again clearly confronted with the fact how white (and heteronormative) the project is of which I am part as well as the region in which I live (north-west Saxony-Anhalt; i.e. former GDR.) – and how important it really is for me to face my acquired racisms and to understand them and to overcome them…”

April, 2013: Edie Daly, Florida

For my 76th Birthday party, I sent out an invitation to 13 of my close friends. All Old Lesbians and staunch feminists. We saw the first 35 minutes of the video and then we had an hour long discussion about what Audre Lorde means to us in our lives and how her influences in our lives fueled our passions in the early days of Consciousness Raising. We spoke about where we had those early conversations in the sixties and seventies. Being Florida, we have come from very different communities in all parts of the country. It was good to remember how we began and where each of us were on our paths to becoming Sister Outsiders. Each of us loved the video and I have lent it to them, one by one, so that we could each view the entire length in our own homes. My partner (wife) and I will probably watch it one more time and then donate it to our small Gulfport Public Library for their growing LGBTIQ section.

This video gave us not only insight to those years that Audre Lorde was not in the US, it gave us insight into a different part of her activism at the same time that we were doing “Salons” for lesbians here in St. Petersburg. Our Salons lasted from 1982 through 2004.

Thanks for your loving video and the care and insight with which you have given us this precious look into Audre Lord's life.

April 2013, Milan, Italy

Dear Dagmar
you should have received the tag on Facebook on the Photos we took during the Audre Lorde screening we had in Milano on the 14th of April…. please search on FB Immaginaria to have a look of a full screening room! Just few days before the screening, due to technical issues, we had to change the location (from the Palazzina Liberty to the beautiful room owned by the Female Union in Milano). In any case the event was a great success and the debate following the screening was very interesting. Please, find in attachment the announcement of the event published by "la Repubblica", the second newspaper in Italy.

April 2013: Marion Gerlind, Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies, Oakland

The more often I watch your Audre Lorde film, the more it moves me and brings me to think... What a loss for the world if you, Dagmar, had not taken the video footage and completed this film with Audre! Your documentary is so important and timely, we need more discussions about our working together across differences like Audre and you all had them during her time in Berlin.

Marion Gerlind, Ph.D.
Director, Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies
Oakland, California, USA

Herzlich, Marion

April 2013: B Louise Hazelwood, New York

I’ve been meaning to post a comment for months now! I saw your film here in NYC last fall and continue to be touched by the sincere and beautiful depiction of Audre Lorde in her years in Berlin! Personally, as a kid growing up and Berlin and living there in my years after college, it is a city that offers many traveling souls comfort and space to grow. The film reminded me of this and deepened my appreciate for the daring spirit of Audre Lorde. As an undergraduate I researched her work in Berlin with the Afro-German movement, it is beautiful to see this story continuing. I feel so privileged to have seen the film and to have shook the hands of Dagmar Schulz and Ika Huegel-Marshall. Vielen, vielen Dank for the experience and my very best wishes! -Brittany Hazelwood

“I reach out my hand/to my black family/here is my journey’s end/here the whole world comes together.”—Ika Hügel-Marshall

March 2013: Giovanna S. Capone, Oakland

I just saw this film in Oakland, California today. What a fabulous record of Audre Lorde's work in Berlin. Thank you so much for producing this film D. Schultz! It really captures a very dimensional and powerful woman of our times! Everything she says is absolutely relevent and even more important today :-

March 2013: Jon Vickers, Director of the Indiana University Cinema

I enjoyed the film very much. I was not as familiar with Audre Lorde as many others in the audience. I walked away from your film with a feeling that I was given a very personal, insider's perspective of her work and personal life. She touched me in many ways.

Bathseba Belai, SaBiti Communications, Montreal

Dear Dr. Schultz,

I trust this message finds you well. I was at the Toronto screening of your most insightful and heart-warming documentary on Audre Lorde's time in Germany. It moved me to tears and I wanted to introduce myself to you and give you a big hug for gifting us with this wonderful and much needed presentation of Audre's life and words. Unfortunately I had to rush off to another appointment right after the screening and a long line of well wishers had already formed in front of you.

Thank you very much for this unique piece of work. I have long been a fan of Audre Lorde's work but you made her feel real to me in a way I've never experienced before. Watching your documentary felt like I was meeting a long-lost wise friend. I think this is a testament to how well you were able to convey your own friendship with and love for her through your work. I bought a copy of the film at the screening and look forward to savouring it over and over again.

With warm regards,

March 15, 2013
Warren Crichlow, York University, Toronto CANADA
after the event “The Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde's Legacy”

Yes it was a moving homage to Lorde, and a wonderful opportunity to learn about this less well known aspect of her life (for me sort of like the revelation of learning about Baldwin's years in Istanbul). Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years, 1984-1992 will certainly jump start new thinking in “Lorde” studies (and it ought to—I certainly had not thought about Lord[e] in years though, like Baldwin, she is never very far out of mind). More than the recent Angela Davis film, with all its slickness and finished polish, I left the screening of Audre Lorde, with its home-made honest aesthetic, feeling really provoked emotionally and intellectually. That footage of Lorde offered a naked sense of nothing lost, nothing gained"; but rather than bemoaning the human condition, the film foregrounded, unapologetically so, the ongoing powerful and empowering struggle of women doing the simple things together: looking at each other, staying together; sustaining talk and collaboration; asking questions, being astounded and laughing; finding a voice where none had been before. An absolutely significant model for today! Audre is such a marvellous figure: without a lot of bombast or pyro-technic heroics, she simply changed people's lives and transformed thinking; jump-started consciousness; enlivened a sense of identity in the so called "Afro-German" feminist space from where it had been dormant and silent—she was a catalyst, a poetic alchemist: she brought people together in a way that lives on and no doubt continues to evolve in the experiences of the women she touched so profoundly. This was simply a joy to behold! "Contemporary Urgency": what a wonderful title for the event—those joyous, committed, fearful and fearless images of Audre Lorde, facing (smiling) uncertainties of life and death with such unrelenting spiritedness, lived up to and exceeded every syllable of that thematic phrase. I am just so, so happy I was there for such a special event.

Wow! I can't wait to see the film again.


Junia, University of Toronto

Hi Warren,
What a wonderful film about Audre Lorde— I wish I had met her! I stayed to listen to the panel discussion, which was an opportunity to hear more about Lorde's legacy, from Dagmar, the film’s director; scholars Gloria Wekker, and Marion Kraft, and members of Toronto womens’ activist communities…lots of poetic and political thought to digest…

Janice Canning, Waterloo, Canada

I first became aware of Audrey Lourde and her brilliant poetry in the mid 70's as a student and emerging feminist in Montrea, Quebec, Canada. Audrey Lo[]rde and Adrieanne Rich were instrumental in shaping consciousness of the feminist movement in North America. Her brilliant talks on white privilege and racism inherent in the movement were an essential part of the consciousness training so necessary for shaping the movement at that time. As a white woman I learned a lot about the racism inherent in society and the effect it was having on all of us, not just women of colour. Her insistence on including and challenging white women stirred me up and awakened emotions previously hidden. Her bold style of declaring who she was, a black woman, a mother, a lesbian a poet, was courageous. She was a role model and example for me. I shall always treasure her teachings and poetry

I knew nothing about her Berlin years. This film showed me the human and vulnerable side of her. The excerpts of her poetry and her talks brought back memories of her work in North America. They are as inspiring today as they were in the 70's. The film exemplifies her ability to reach women globally at a time when this was not as easy in today's internet driven technology.

This film should be shown to all young women, the workbook on the [web] page will facilitate discussion and is a great guide for educators. Thank you for taking the footage and preserving it so that it can now be presented in this very professional and coherent package. I was in tears, seeing the strength and hearing the wisdom of Audrey Lo[]rde. She is remembered and well loved by many. Her influence continues to this day.

Salina Abji, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology
University of Toronto
: after the event: The Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde's Legacies

Dear Dagmar,

I'm still beaming after last night's doc screening of Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years. Your film was a love letter to Audre & a heart-warming tribute to her influence, her joy & her humanity. The evening was perfectly orchestrated ~ panelists shared memories of audre & linked this to contemporary social justice issues. I learned so much! But most of all, your film simply made me want to be a better, more courageous, more loving warrior.

THANK YOU. Best, Salina

Stanley, Berkeley

Dear Dagmar,
I hope this e-mail finds you well. I do not know if you will remember me, but i met you at U.C. Berkeley last fall. I spoke about my course that I am teaching on Audre Lorde's life and work. Most recently, I introduced your film at Mills College during Black History Month. Again, I wish to thank you for producing the film. My course will benefit greatly from your work and it allows Audre Lorde to speak in the course beyond her text. I really appreciate the tender loving care that you and your partner put out forth in the project. I plan to purchase the DVD for my course. Best, Cara

Tova Black, Chicago, Illinois

…“Thank You”. This film was absolutely amazing, I took so many notes! I’d say the most impactful for me was that we all need to “tell [our] story... because no one can tell it for us.” And my favorite quote, for when trying to convince others to simply give your words a chance, “I am not TELLING you to change your mind, I am ASKING you to consider.” As an artist who just recently moved to Chicago, this film was without a doubt one of the most invigorating events I’ve experienced since I’ve moved here. The world was a richer, brighter, more promising place with Audre Lorde in it. I am thankful that you were able to not only capture her words, but also her poise, her energy and the strength of her spirit. She led so many when she was living in the flesh, and she leads so many more now that she’s transcended. She’s no longer restricted by the physical body, she is any and everywhere she pleases. When you watch this film, you can’t help but be inspired by her because you FEEL HER.

So, once again, Thank you for this beautiful piece of work Dagmar. You too are a blessing to us all.
Continued blessings to you and yours. Peace & Love.

Susan Wiseheart, Missouri Ozarks

I bought the film recently and just finished watching it a minute ago. I want to tell you that I think it is wonderful and will do all I can to encourage everyone I know to see it. I am totally thrilled to have it, along with Audre Lorde’s poetry, nonfiction and biography. Thank you.

Michelle Parkerson (director of “A Litany for Survival - Life and Work of Audre Lorde”)

Dear Dagmar:
Went up to Philly to see your amazing portrait of Audre and the growth of community that her presence galvanized in Berlin It was a great screening at Black Star Fest, diversely attended. Glad to hear that TWN is in for educational distribution. The Berlin Years illuminates territory in Audre's path and personality that were wonderful to discover on-screen. And so many memories and faces remembered...
As always, I send...
Much love and Congratulations!

Lisette Lobato Mendonca, Belo Horizone, Brazil

Congratulation for the film! The legacy of Audre should be shared broadly and inspire all those who walk on the path of freedom and justice. I truly wished I could be present in one of the presentation.
Wishing you and the tour a great success!
much love,

Cathy Cade, Berkeley, California

I found Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years by Dagmar Schultz to be inspiring on many levels. First to re-experience Audre and the values she has presented to us, secondly to see her as an artist-and-activist as she encouraged the presentation of “Afro-German Lesbians”, thirdly to see a broad range of who Audre was: the public and the personal, and thirdly the commitment of Dagmar to photograph and film Audre in various moments over a number of years and to hang in there till there was a film to share with all of us.

My favorite part is the juxtaposition of Audre’s serious poetry with her joyous dancing and being teased by her partner Gloria. Her grudging reaction to Gloria’s teasing allows us to see her being human, not perfect.

From Australia! Gaele Sobott

Dear Gaele,

How are you? I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year break. I am Nayana, one of the doctoral scholars from UNSW who attended the Audre Lorde Australian Premiere. Thank you for organising the evening, it was particularly beneficial as Lorde's scholarship influences my PhD thesis. It was a great evening and I especially enjoyed having the opportunity to ask questions over Skype, linking the events on the film to something very tangible and historically present was indeed a good idea. If you have other events related to literature and art etc. lined up it would be great to hear about them..

I wish you a very good New Year 2013.
Best wishes, Nayana

Parisa Asvadi, Sydney, Australia
I hope this message finds you and all well. Recently I was present at a screening of your documentary: Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years in Sydney, Australia. This screening was organized by Gaele Sobott and we also had the chance to link up with you, and your colleagues, via Skype. I just wanted to thank you for the work put in to make the doco and for the sharing of your experiences. Watching the doco inspired me to write something brief which is attached.… Best

Audre Lorde was a revolutionary.  She was a revolutionary of the Woman Kind.

The documentary Audre Lorde, the Berlin Years opens a door into [eight] years of Audre’s life. That this door is opened for us, the audience, by the reflections, point of views, memories and footage put together with participation from some of the women whose lives were touched and transformed by Audre’s being is the significant and distinguishing point about this documentary.

In Berlin Years, Audre’s quest in giving life to the term ‘Afro-German’ finds flesh and bone bodies, in women and men who recount how they found in Afro-German a name to describe themselves with for the first time in their lives.  And a name is a beginning.  The documentary allows us to see how that beginning, the name, has informed and formed the lives of numerous Afro-German women.

In additional rare footage in The Berlin Years, Audre tells us:  “…if you have something to say you HAVE to say it.”  And nothing is more important than this in our lives, particularly in the lives of the woman kind. To find one self, one’s voice, and to say oneself with that voice and to leave traces of what one has found to be for the rest to find.  More, in the documentary Audre recites her woman-ness in its diverse ways. She laughs, dances, shares her poetry and anger and sadness and questions in her fierce, gentle way.  Thank you to the forces of our universe and all others involved that Audre did say what she had found to be hers  to say and left her poetry and the memories of her being, via, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years for us. 

In a naming ceremony before her death Audre took the name Gambda Adisa, which means “Warrior: She Who Makes Her Meaning Known.”  The testimonies of the women in Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years makes it known that she not only did make her own meaning known but inspired other women to do the same.  Audre Lorde was a revolutionary of the Woman Kind.

Ivana Kolakovic, Belgrade
December 7, 2012

Dear Dagmar,

Thank you very much for your email. The screening was great! We all enjoyed it, thank you for making such an important movie for us! Our students from Women and Gender studies were there and also many women from our Women and LGBT and Queer organizations. After the screening we had a lecture on Faculty of Political Sciences (department for Women’s studies) about Black feminism and the film really inspired the discussion.
Also, during the festival the organization Reconstruction Women’s Fund shared for free the book of Audre’s essays (Sister Outsider) to everyone interested in Audre’s work.

So, thank you again for making this film.

Tijana Popivoda, Novi Sad, Serbia
December 7, 2012

dear dear Dagmar,

the screening in Novi Sad on November 1 went fantastic!! there was around 40 of us, mostly lesbians, who watched it, some of us, who knew the work of Audre Lorde were so so excited! I have to say to you - it is one of the best movies I ever watched in my whole life! after the films we had a discussion, and mentioned a lot some of the words of Audre that she said in the movie! thank you thank you a lot, for all your work to make this film possible. it's so important for our history, but also for putting some questions that are still very actual. I am just sad that we can not put in words the gladness we all felt after the screening.

Dr. Marion Kraft,

Dear Dagmar,
I am very pleased that the German DVD is available now. I have just watched the impress[ive] bonus material, which, in addition to the film, I find very moving.  To see Audre together with the South-African, the Caribbean and the Afro-German women, to listen to her reading her poetry is heartwarming. The scenes from the memorial service “Celebration of Life” in Berlin underscore once again the legacies of Audre Lorde, and the ways in which she was able to connect different people in her visions of a better future. I hope that the Study Guide will be useful to further make her meaning known, as well as her bonds to Germany and the Black Community in Germany.

FaceBook: Alexandra Lindhout

What a wonderful and extraordinary group of women! Ika Hügel-Marshall? I analyzed her autobiography in my dissertation!

FaceBook: Laura Wetzlerposted to

FaceBook: Eric Nuisanceboy Anderson

I want to thank you for sharing Audre Lorde with me. She is a person I was unaware of before this, but now I feel as if I've met her and that my life feels all the richer for the meeting. Keep up the great work Dagmar and Ika! You are an inspiration to me.

FaceBook: Flora Zulli

Just saw your wonderful doc at UC Berkeley tonight! What a gift to see such joy and passion that Audre Lorde gave to folks throughout the world.

FaceBook: Sara Garbagnoli

le soleil audre lorde a illuminé la première soirée du 6e congrès international de recherches féministes qui a eu lieu à lausanne du 29 août au 2 septembre 2012. merci dagmar pour ce cadeau précieux!

Blanche W Cook and Clare Coss

We thank you Dagmar for all you did for Audre then—And for giving us this lasting, inspiring, challenging, life-enhancing legacy now.

July 8, 2012: Lester Olson, Prof. of Communications, University of Pittsburgh

Your film is deeply moving and makes available a wealth of information and insights into Audre’s years in Berlin.  The film is a wonderful achievement.  Thanks for making it available to me. I think it is the first time that I have heard her read “Love Poem” in a format in which I could see her, too.  And I love how you threaded “A Litany For Survival” into three segments of it.  It’s probably my favorite of her poems.  And I’m glad, too, that you had her reading part of “Today is Not the Day,” which is among the most poignant.  The interviews with Gloria Joseph enriched the film considerably, as did the footage of Audre’s doctor’s meetings with her.

All best wishes, Lester Olson

FRAMELINE36: Tucker P. Farley

As Director of the Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years, Dagmar Schultz has a sensitive eye for the intimate and political complexities of a beloved poet in her her Berlin years, challenged by how best to bridge cultures of race, language, sexualities and medicines. The film evokes the immediacy of Lorde’s presence and the lasting accomplishments of her cultural work; both endure in our hearts. A wonderful film capturing context, vision, presence. You have done a brilliant job of sticking to it as well as being flexible and creative.

FRAMELINE36: Edwin Scharlau, Route 7 Productions

Hello Dagmar,
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your documentary about Audre Lorde. I was at Frameline showing our doc (UNFIT: Ward vs. Ward) and was so happy I got to see some films as well. I had never heard of Audre before and I truly enjoyed getting to know her and her story through your work.

Thank you!

FRAMELINE36: Dr. Paola Bacchetta, Ass. Prof., Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California at Berkeley

With great grace, the film shows many dimensions to Audre Lorde that one can, but also cannot ever fully, intuit through her writing. We know Audre
Lorde as the writer, the teacher, the performer of poetry, the fighter. But this film also opens up other worlds, such as the one Lorde shared with her partner, and with other Black women, other women of color and white women in Berlin. Through the film we experience Audre Lorde at some extremely vibrant moments, reading poetry, dancing, laughing with her partner and friends. And we also get a glimpse of moods that range from pensive, calm, thoughtful, careful, to flagrantly grumpy.  We perceive Lorde in her corporeality, walking with friends in her Black lesbian body through the streets of predominantly white Berlin, but also bedridden in Shultz’s home due to cancer towards the end. I was deeply moved by the interviews with Lorde’s Black feminist friends for they make very clear the immense constructive influence Lorde had on Black women in Berlin, who found through her a new (Afro-German) identity, pride,  determination and motivation.  Several of the women later became writers themselves. But Lorde’s legacy from the Berlin years continues in other ways as well. I love that the film ends not with Lorde’s death but rather with her vitality, which unfolds in an intimate indoor scene where she is dancing
joyfully with friends.

FRAMELINE36: Ruth Mahaney, City College of San Francisco, faculty of LGBT Studies and History.

The film portrays Audre as a very human person, who jokes, laughs, and dances.  She also is an amazing teacher.  I especially appreciate that you included so much of her thoughts and politics…you get a real sense of why she was so important to those of us who were lucky enough to be in her presence.  She always taught us something…. [A]s a teacher of history myself,  it has been hard to explain to my students who Audre was and why she was important.  This film will make that very clear to those who had never heard of her before.  Her politics were so useful and clear.  They are still extremely relevant.  I plan to use the film in my classes and show it to everyone I know.  Thanks for making it.

In solidarity, Ruth Mahaney

FRAMELINE36: Kitty Cone

Dear Dagmar,

I love Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984-1992. There was so much information about her work in Germany that I had never heard of before. The fact that she was looking for Germans of African descent, and that she found them here and there, and out of that grouping came the community and movement of Afro Germans is an element of her life that is so critically important and is virtually unknown I suspect.

The way the film is structured, beginning and ending with music and dancing, which she loved, served several functions for me. Her sense of joy comes through, and prepares us to see her very human side as well as her academic and poetic and political personae. This is true throughout the film; as it shows her moving from classroom to poetry reading to personal conversations and activities, we as viewers begin to get a sense of her seriousness as a political activist, her dedication to her students and her sense of humor and compassion.

The editing of the film is superb. In some parts the film moves chronologically from the time of her first being invited to teach in Germany to her death. But it also shows topically her involvement with different issues in non-chronological order, such as the work of building a revolution.

The presentation of how she dealt with her cancer and then her impending death was so well done. In the middle of her acceptance of her situation, and the sadness that it evokes in all of us, there is that wonderful gem of her sitting in the bed criticizing the decorating. What a funny breath of fresh air.

I wonder at your foresight in capturing so much of that time on camera. This film is a gift to history, for scholars, for revolutionaries, for women, especially lesbians, for people of color and is clearly a work of love. Thank you for all your work in putting it together. Kitty

Stud Life (FaceBook)

If you do any thing this year, try to see Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years an empowering film and call to action.

FRAMELINE36: Bobbi Lanoue

Dear Dagmar,

Just a little note with a BIG thank you for your Audre Lorde film - a most enjoyable and important work— I left the theater feeling hopeful and inspired by the life of this amazing feminist woman/poet/teacher/role model as it played out in her time in Berlin. And I certainly came away with more historical information than I started with re: Blacks in Germany.

Thank you for giving us this very interesting and valuable work that I wish the whole world could see.

with love and appreciation,

Miriam Frank, Ph.D., Master Teacher of Humanities at New York University

I saw the Audre Lorde film a few times, in various versions, during development and up to the last cut. The best screening was the one at the Brecht Forum in NYC in March. The room was packed with an amazingly diverse crowd and reactions were electric. I saw how Audre’s wide-ranging stories/songs/speeches of militancy and compassion, protest and silliness, elegant poetry and ordinary hanging out moved her audiences as we saw them in the movie and the audience of that wonderful evening. The discussion at the end was wonderfully gratifying…people learned something new about a New Yorker we all admired and miss very much and the filmmakers saw, I hope, how their work can reach an audience of mixed races, politics, sensibilities and sexualities.

FRAMELINE36: Stephanie Harvey

Dear Professor Schultz,

Thank you for bringing Audre Lorde - the Berlin Years to Frameline yesterday. I very much appreciated your comments about being a white filmmaker during the Q&A. As a white woman I want to understand how I can better use what power I have to address my own racism and to help battle all racism. I first heard about Audre Lorde when I was in graduate school (for materials science/surface physics) in the late 80s/early 90—my first real exposure to queer and feminist culture. As a result I am an out lesbian full-time industrial scientist and part-time faculty (at San Jose State University.) Thank you for making this path possible for me!

Your film will help yet another generation of women learn about Audre Lorde and that is a wonderful thing. I also enjoyed your photography on your website; the images are beautiful.

Wishing you all the best and safe travels to wherever you are going after San Francisco! Looking forward to your next project!

With much gratitude,


“Things you should know about Audre Lorde: she loved flowers, she had a deadpan sense of humor, and after her cancer diagnosis, she believed that being in Berlin added years onto her life.

In 1984 Lorde began teaching at the Berlin Free University, and from the beginning, her work in West Berlin focused primarily on bringing together the far-flung, disjointed community of Afro-German women. Lorde would spend the better part of the next decade between two homes, West Berlin and St. Croix, living with the same vitality she brought to her writing and her work. Students remembered her for her unfailing encouragement, activists for her uncompromising vision of justice. But what makes this film shine are the moments of banter between her and her friends—her complaining about why Germans refuse to match their pillowcases to duvets or her lover teasing her about never admitting when she’s wrong.

Dagmar Schultz, Lorde’s German publisher, colleague and friend has crafted a lyrical, humanizing snapshot of the iconic writer for the twentieth anniversary of her death in 1992. Through lectures, discussion groups, and intimate journal-like audio entries, Lorde’s forceful, captivating personality shines through.

Feminist giant Audre Lorde wanted an “irresistible revolution”, and as this lively documentary testifies, as a revolutionary, Lorde herself is irresistible.”

May 18, 2012: Melody Makeda Ledwon,
Dancer and Adjunct Professor in Africana/Puerto-Rican-Latino Studies at Hunter College

Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984-1992 is a deeply inspiring film: It left my heart full of joy and hope at the possibility of healing and transformation in Germany and the world. The film captures Audre Lorde’s fearless warrior spirit, reveals her infectious humor and her profound love for life. We learn about a little known chapter of Audre Lorde’s life, but we also learn—in very intimate ways—about a pivotal moment in Afro-German history when Afro-Germans stepped from isolation into community. I hope that many young people will go and see Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984-1992. They will leave feeling hopeful about the future.”

April 16, 2012, AJ Tear (after Fringe! Festival in London)

Yes, what a moving and inspirational film about an amazing woman. I'm *so* glad I saw it, and highly recommend it to EVERYONE.

April 16, 2012, Peter J. Piercy (after Fringe! Festival in London)

Amazing, and testament to her awesome power that everyone I spoke to afterwards felt inspired in to be bolder and more ambitious in their own work and activism, and buzzing with ideas about things they wanted to do next.

April 15, 2012, Campbell Ex (from FaceBook)

Thanks to Muffin Hix for banging programming and Dagmar Schultz for making this wonderful film about Audre Lorde and Sara Ahmed for her very inspiring and powerful introduction. I was so moved by this screening. Try to see this film wherever you are.

Paula Grant, Brecht Forum, New York (from FaceBook)

Wonderful showing at The Brecht Forum in NYC 3/26/2012 overflow crowd required the announcement of a second screening!

April 6, 2012, Zola Mumfordgepostet
an (from FaceBook)

We at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival are very happy & excited about presenting the premiere of Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984-1992 here in Seattle on April 15. In past years we have shown films about Audre Lorde and May Ayim. Thank you, Dr. Schultz, for producing this important film.

April 4, 2012, Holy Lou (from FaceBook)

HI I went for the screening of your movie about Audre Lorde during the Fringe festival in London last Saturday and i wanted to thank you for your work/creation. It’s been a pleasure to watch what you made and a real inspiration on so many levels. Hope you're good.

March 3, 2012, Muffin Hix (from FaceBook)

I had the pleasure of seeing your film at the Berlinale this year and was struck by the power, resonance and joy of your document. If it does not conflict with any other required premieres in the UK, we would really love to find out about screening your film at Fringe! Film Fest in London on 14th April 2012 at The Rich Mix.

Campbell Ex (from FaceBook)

This was a most fantastic film. It felt like a privilege to watch a special moment in the lives of those women and the impact Audre Lorde had on their lives. But the power of their collective voices and your ability to make that come out in the film. Superb.

Your film is so moving, evocative, beautiful and I cannot say enough wonderful things about it. Thank you for your love and care for the memory of Audre Lorde. ~ Thank you. X

March 22, 2012, Jerry Wever, (Prof. of Literature, Spelman College, from FaceBook)

Was fabulous to see last night at Spelman in the US premier. A wonderful tribute.

February 20, 2012, Rita van Gool from Leuven, Belgium

good evening dagmar

marie gave me your dvd immediately arriving from berlin. i looked at the movie at home, the film is really fantastic!  I' m in a wave of emotions and the stronge believe we have to do something to move forward with all issues concerning women in all their forms

to survive 
to make things happen 
our age doesn't matter 
together women are always strong

to give solidarity between women a name
now the backlash of women and lesbian rights has started in many ways 

In rememberance of audre
thanks to you dagmar for your commitment 
for your historical contribition!!!

for giving a new energy to activism

February 16, 2012, Lucy Che (from FaceBook)

This film is amazing!!! A wonderful homage to Audre Lorde and inspiring women in Berlin. Thanks so much for that, Dagmar Schultz and everyone who contributed to it.

Tina Campt (Associate Professor of Women's Studies, History and German, Duke University. Visiting Professor of Women's and Africana Studies, Barnard College-Columbia University; author of the book Other Germans. Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich):

Having first met Audre Lorde in Berlin on one of her many annual trips to Germany, it has always astounded me that the ever burgeoning literature on this singular figure has consistently overlooked the influence of Lorde on Berlin's black communities and in turn, the role that Germany played in her life. Germany was, for Lorde, a site of healing, a place of activism, and a vibrant beacon of hope made visible through her deep attachment to the Black German community, numerous members of whom she inspired through her teaching and writing. Lorde was a vital impetus for the Black German movement through her mentoring of many of its earliest writers and activists.

Yet she was also the beneficiary of their deep admiration, and found solace in the support of her long-standing friendships in Germany. It was her German friends who introduced her to some of the alternative treatments that sustained and extended her life following her diagnosis with cancer. “The Marvelous Arithmetics of Differences” will add an extremely important chapter to the life and times of Audre Lorde. Produced by Lorde’s German publisher and close friend in Germany, Dagmar Schultz, the film will address this gaping lacuna in the author’s biography by offering rich new insights into one of her most overlooked sites of inspiration. It is a film and a story that is long-overdue!

Alexis Pauline (founder of the “School of Our Lorde”)

Thank you for your brave and ambitious decision to lift up an important part of Audre Lorde's life and legacy.  I am the founder of an interactive, intergenerational community school based on the life and work of Audre Lorde called “School of Our Lorde”  based in Durham and active in many cities via multimedia classes and webinars.  Blessings, ~  Alexis Pauline

Paul Farber  (doctoral fellow at German Historical Institute, Washington D.C.)

“I taught a class last spring at Michigan on my dissertation topic ‘Representations of the Berlin Wall in American literature and popular culture’, and we spent a week on Audre Lorde's poetry and writing, especially from her time in West Berlin. My students showed clips from 'A Litany for Survival,' and we also read your essay "Audre Lorde - Her Struggles and Her Visions." I was glad that they shared in my inspiration from the material. Her work, in and out of Germany, has given me guidance as a writer and as a teacher for many years. Please do keep up with the project - the world could use nourishment from it.…. You hold such an important link for scholars of Audre's work, and by preserving it you help give it more and new life.”

Berndt Ostendorf (Prof. emer. für Nordamerikanische Kulturgeschichte)

Thank you very much for the desription of your interesting and important project. My compliments for the work already accomplished, which I consider meaningful and deserving promotion. I keep my fingers crossed that it will work out financially too.

Christina Oppel  (Wissenschaftliches Netzwerk [DFG] Black Diaspora and Germany, Englisches Seminar, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)

A wonderful project which should receive support from all sides.

Dr. Heike Radvan, Antonio Amadeo Stiftung (foundation against rightist activities)

...I would find it very good if the film could be used also in educational work. Beyond that, the film idea seems highly interesting and exciting – great that you are doing this.

Aicy Youm (Lecturer for trade at a professional school in Berlin

great that there will be a documentary about Audre – she has given me a lot on my path.

Sabine Broeck (Prof. Dr. Sabine Broeck, University of Bremen; President, Collegium for African American Research)

”Dagmar, how wonderful that, at long last, audre lorde's life in germany will find the attention, interest and care it has deserved, but not received for all those years!  i am sure, if and when the project will be finished, it will not only serve as a marker of collective memory for audre's courageous, and wise engagements but also as a repository for critical work on lorde's life, writing and politics that has not yet been able to fully assess the crucial importance of lorde's crossover contacts with various people, institutions and movements in germany - both, for african-american studies, as well as for german cultural studies in the widest sense. the collegium for african-american research (caar)  will support the making and dissemination of the film to our best ability.”

Christof Decker (Professor für amerikanische Literatur und Kultur, Ludwig Maximilian Universität München)

The project sounds very interesting and certainly will be an important contribution for the afroamerican cultural history, but also for ist transatlantic significance.