Monday Cinema

  • Mon 06.02.23 19 h
  • Mon 06.03.23 19 h
  • Mon 03.04.23 19 h
  • Mon 08.05.23 19 h
  • Mon 19.06.23 19 h

Free admission

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Doors open at 18 h

Viktoriastraße 5
45327 Essen

Once a month, the Monday Cinema takes us on a cinematic foray through urban living spaces from Essen to Istanbul - in a taxi, on a tram, from north to south, and over borders. The featured films revolve around questions of communal city living, neighbourly relations and how these are put to the test when political or economic conditions change. Dealing both critically and humorously with questions of gentrification, social differences and prejudices, they essentially draw multi-layered portraits of the people who make up their cities.

Registration for all Monday Cinema evenings at:

Further programme information at:

#1 Taxi Teheran, Direction: Jafar Panahi, 2015, 82 min, In German 

MON 06.02.23 19 h

A yellow taxi drives through the lively streets of Tehran. Passengers from different walks of life candidly talk about what's on their minds: a bootleg DVD seller peddles the latest season of THE WALKING DEAD, two middle-aged women believe that their lives depend on their releasing two gold fish into Ali’s Spring in South Tehran before noon of that day, a cheeky young girl explains her claim to Frappuccino and her hardships in realising a short film project for school.

The man at the taxi wheel is no one less than the director Jafar Panahi who was banned in 2010 from making films in Iran for 20 years and sentenced to six years in prison for »propaganda against the system«.

Filmed partly by a set of cameras fixed to the interior of the taxi, partly with mobile phone cameras, Panahi’s film draws an affectionate portrait of the people in his homeland which stands in hopeful contrast to the predominantly negative news reports. Combining social criticism and comedy with ease, ›Taxi Teheran‹ is an intelligent reflection on the possibilities of cinema even under the most severe restrictions and rightly the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film in 2015.


#2 Crossing Essen, Author: Robert Hartmann, 1983, 30 mins, in German 

MON 06.03.23 19 h

Followed by a talk with Willi Overbeck, one of the film’s protagonists, and other local social activists  

»Controversial city portrait: Essen up in arms about a TV film. UPROAR IN THE REVIER« was the headline of a newspaper article in DIE ZEIT on the 18.11.1983. The author of the film, Robert Hartmann, begins his film in noble Essen Bredeney and proceeds to map the social structure of the Ruhr metropolis from the south to the north during a ride on the tram line 101. Along route, he talks to people and captures an atmospheric picture of the city and the different worlds that exist in it. »Nowhere is the social divide more evident than on this journey, which you couldn't do today because the tram line no longer exists«, says Hartmann in a commentary on his film. After the film, we talk to Willi Overbeck about what has changed since then and where challenges still exist.


#3 Neighbours, Direction: Mano Khalil, 2021, 130 mins, Arabic with German subtitles

MON 03.04.23 19 h

The film is shown at the WERKSTADT in cooperation with the YEKMAL e.V. association.

In a Syrian border village in the early 80’s, little Sero attends school for the first time, gets involved in dangerous pranks with his friends, and dreams of having a television so he can finally watch cartoons. But he also experiences how the adults around him are increasingly crushed by the violence and nationalism which surround them. 

Inspired by the Director’s personal experiences, his bittersweet memories combine with a fine sense of humor and satire, managing to find light moments between dictatorship and dark drama, and connecting the Syrian tragedy to the present.



#4 My house stood in Sulukule, Direction: Astrid Heubrandtner, 2010, 94 mins, German subtitles

MON 08.05.23 19 h

Sulukule, the former Roma quarter of Istanbul, is doomed. The neighbourhood is to make way for luxury flats and the Roma have to go.

Sulukule, a district in Istanbul, is considered the oldest Roma settlement in the world. The Romani people made a living there through music and dance in entertainment houses that were popular with both Turks and tourists until the clubs were closed down in the 1990s. In 2005 an urban renewal project started: The municipality wanted to buy all buildings and replace them with luxury villas, transforming the neighborhood. Under the given socio-economical circumstances the Roma population was put at risk of losing their social network as well as their culture which has grown over centuries. The film depicts Sulukule as an example of numerous urban renewal and gentrification projects world-wide and their social
consequences. The needs of both the individual and the local community are disrespected.


#5 In Katernberg, a film by Zauri Matikashvili, 2022, 23mins 

MON 19.06.23, 19 h

The theme of »Living as a Migrant« has preoccupied the filmmaker, Zauri Matikashvili, for some time. Many people in the Katernberg district of Essen experience racism. They are discriminated against when looking for an apartment or a job or at school. A foreign-sounding last name can be enough to be labeled a criminal. Nonetheless, people from immigrant families often succeed in making the north of Essen their home. They tell of their family stories and of life in a former mining area that is undergoing rapid change.

In German with English subtitles.

Zauri Matikashvili will be present for a discussion at the WerkStadt after the film.

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  • Thu 18.04.24 18 h – 21 h
  • Thu 23.05.24 18 h – 21 h
  • Thu 20.06.24 18 h – 21 h
  • Fri 24.05.24 20 h
  • Sat 25.05.24 20 h