Mariya Gabriel and Wim Wenders: Debate on Digital at the John Lennon Gymnasium in Berlin

Wim Wenders discusses with Berlin students
:Can you stream dreams?

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The cell phone camera is directed to the filmmaker Wim Wenders, who obviously enjoys the dialogue at John Lennon High School.

The cell phone camera is directed to the filmmaker Wim Wenders, who obviously enjoys the dialogue at John Lennon High School.


BLZ / Paul Ponizak

Wim Wenders had brought a film excerpt from 1991. At that time came “to the end of the world” in the cinemas and told visually of a journey around the world. But also from the fact that human dreams can be represented on the screen as videos – and how obsessed people can be with this technology.

Mariya Gabriel and Wim Wenders visit Berlin students

The students at John Lennon High School who wanted to talk to the director about the future of movies were impressed. Visualizing dreams – such a topic long before they were born, before Netflix and iPhones existed? Not bad. At least they felt reminiscent of the afternoons at home, when they just wanted to watch an episode of a new Netflix series and then not get away from the device, even obsessed with the moving pictures on display.

Together with EU Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Wim Wenders visited the John Lennon Gymnasium in Berlin on Monday. The two had met during the Berlinale last year, Gabriel accepted an invitation from the Safer Internet Center Germany, Wenders had a connection to the school in Mitte.

Mariya Gabriel takes time for dialogue

The two guests turned their message to the conscious handling with digital media on the generation of pupils, who hardly knows a life without Smartphone, social media existed even before her birth. So it’s the young people who get the plump digital life, they experiment with skill when they use distribution channels on which they – except close friends – are not so quickly found.

But they are also often nave when it comes to choosing passwords, and gullible in distinguishing legitimate Fake News messages. And not to forget: Your data is sought after, which became clear when Facebook had to admit that it had accessed the accounts of teenagers for testing purposes.

Change passwords as often as toothbrushes, advises EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

Change passwords as often as toothbrushes, advises EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.


BLZ / Paul Ponizak

Mariya Gabriel took a lot of time to talk to the young people. She took part in three workshops. The students took the opportunity to present their wishes. So you would like to learn more from classmates on digital topics, and when it comes to rules for handling smartphones in the classroom (cell phone in your pocket or on the table?), They also want to be heard.

Students talk to Wim Wenders about Netflix

Gabriel later spoke to the young man in the conscience. Dedicated students with their desire to shape the future responsibly would be needed with their talents to curb data abuse and promote data protection in Europe. Her practical tip: “Change the passwords as often as your toothbrushes.” Some of the young listeners, however, found the comparison rather funny. Who knows how often they exchange their toothbrushes?

The filmmaker Wim Wenders is now 73 years old. He became quieter as he talked to young filmmakers about the future of moving images in one of the three workshops. Not Youtube but Netflix is currently the most important platform for the students, at least in Berlin-Mitte. Youtube has to regain quality, said a student, the whole Influencer stuff did not seem to interest them. But it is already difficult to watch long films, said another student. The young people are just always on the go.

Digitization at the heart of the discussion

Wenders advised the young filmmakers to write down their thoughts on paper. Many of his students could not do that, they would only copy and rewrite a Wikipedia entry. “Language,” he said, “is the keystone of civilization.” Whereupon a student asked what then was to be kept by Emojis.

So it often went back and forth in the discussions, the students confidently represented their position in the certain knowledge that many adults understand even less of what digitization is doing with us. What bound the old and young together was the desire for dialogue. Wenders likes that. For him, the exchange of ideas with others and the teamwork during filming are reasons why he likes to be a film director. “To retire for months to write a novel all by myself,” he said, “that’s terrible.”