cold war: berlin wall

Régis Bossu, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker kiss on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republics, 1979
Francesco Hayez, Il bacio. Episodio della giovinezza. Costumi del secolo XIV, 1859



DIR: David Leitch

As I stated in my Instagram post, Atomic Blonde is the film that redefined sexiness for me in 2017. As someone who feels uncomfortable watching a majority of sex scenes, I finally was not. There is something comforting in this pairing of girls, and finally we have a bisexual film hero who, although overly sexualized, is badass, confident, and will take a man down. This is so important to me because it is so rarely seen, and when it is, it’s usually referenced or joked about. Her bisexuality passes naturally through the diegesis. I never had any particular feelings about Charlize Theron before this movie, but now I wonder why I slept on her so long. She was stunning for the part. Yet another admirable bit about this movie is her fashion and shoes: mostly black and white to contrast the lighting, and naturally sexual. 

Although not an 80s movie, this film harkens back to the time for me with the soundtrack. Made up of Bowie & Queen, George Michael, New Order, and Depeche Mode, as well as a few of the popular German songs of the 80s, it feels vibrant and pulsing with energy. The setting and lighting bring us back to the 1980s feel, and the stunning color combinations of neon lighting give flavor to the darkness of Cold War Berlin, and give intense energy to the nightlife of a torn city. It heightens the sexual tension of the love scenes, and this is in clear contrast to the cold, clinical light of the present day and action sequences. 

A killer soundtrack. A stunning, fashionable bisexual heroine. Colorful neon lighting. Bomb action sequences. Comfortable sex scenes. An 80s throwback. As one of the pull quotes I read stated: “This is the movie we need right now.” How correct it is. 


GERMANY. Berlin. November 1989. Fall of the Berlin Wall. A man takes a piece of the Berlin Wall as a souvenir (picture 1). Santas pose for a group photo by the Berlin Wall (picture 2). Student protesters in East Berlin carrying coffin saying Stalinism is dead (pictures 3 & 4). A champagne bottle wedged between pieces of the Berlin Wall (last picture). [Part 3 & End]

Photographs: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

GERMANY. November 1989. Fall of the Berlin Wall. People take pictures of the Wall (1), sometimes in their best outfit (3), chip away pieces as souvenirs (1 & 4) or cross it for the first time in their life (last picture). [Part 2]

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos


And I told you all my secrets,
All my fears, I’ve let go.
And it’s flawless,
You are the only one,
You are the only one,
Don’t you know,
Don’t you know?

- James Blunt

It was impossible. 

Cold War. Berlin Wall. 
Arms Race. Race to the moon. 
Capitalism and communism.
The Iron Curtain like a cut through Europe.

And still. And still.
In the middle of this blooms a love so tender and secret. So fragile and impossible. But it blooms. 
It’s shared through trust and respect. Through whispered secrets and tender touches. It’s undeniable even when it’s unwanted. 

But it’s there and only theirs.