Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Modern Languages and Literature (German Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Committee Chair

Marton Marko

Commitee Members

Elizabeth Ametsbichler, Sean O'Brien


Anna Melikian, Ethnicity, Fatih Akin, Gender, National Identity


University of Montana


The German-Turkish director Fatih Akin and the Armenian-Russian Anna Melikian represent a new wave of successful young European filmmakers. Their works capture intermediate results of the quest for national identity that began in Germany and Russia after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 respectively. This thesis offers a comparative analysis of Akin’s In July (2000) and Head-On (2004) and Melikian’s Mars (2004) and Mermaid (2007) and explores how issues of identity and its key categories including gender, sexuality and ethnicity are treated in each of these works. The goal of the thesis is to look into how the historical cataclysms toward the end of the 20th century affected perceptions of national and personal identity, and how these changes were then reflected in the German and Russian “outsider” cinema of the 2000s.

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