German Movies in the Classroom
As a visual learner myself, I love movies, and I love using movies as teaching tools. But not every movie is suitable for classroom or student use, so I am going to attempt to provide some brief reviews of German movies or movies relating to the German language or German history with a specific focus on the use of German language or culture in the movies. The emphasis here is on the usefulness of these movies in the classroom, not on the quality of the movies as movies. Please be aware that there may be plot spoilers here, so do not mistake my movie reviews for general movie critiques.
A number of German movies are available for purchase or rental in the U.S. If you are looking to teach a unit on a specific movie, the Institut für Kino und Filmkultur has an excellent website with downloadable workbooks for a large number of German movies. Remember to check the region coding when you buy German DVDs. Germany is Region 2; the U.S. is Region 1. You may need to get a code-free DVD player to play a German DVD in the US. These devices don’t actually cost that much more than a “normal” store-bought DVD player. I have personally purchased three code-free DVD players from 220-Electronics and been very happy with the devices, the prices, and the speed of delivery. (I am not getting paid for this link–it’s just my personal experience.)
Both amazon.com and amazon.de feature a number of German movies, but some of them, even if they are available on amazon.com, are still Region 2 coded. If you have a code-free DVD player, I suggest you try amazon.de because the prices are sometimes pretty good and it may end up being cheaper to pay the s&h of (currently) 14 Euros per shipment to the U.S., rather than buying the movie at a U.S. dealer specializing in foreign-language films.
If you are looking for a specific movie, check out the following website, which has some full-length movies available for viewing at no cost: http://www.myvideo.de/. They have some sporting events available as well.
“Inglourious Basterds” (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
“In July” (Fatih Akin, 2000)
“The Lives of Others” (2006)
“Mostly Martha” (2002)
A useful resource: Top 10 German Movies for Learners. I particularly like the fact that the list includes a link to quizlet vocabulary resources for most of the movies.