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20th Anniversary of Berlin Wall Fall: Documentary by Boston College filmmakers to screen Nov. 4

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (10-13-09) –  The stories of leaders and ordinary citizens caught in the political power struggle that was the Berlin Wall are the subject of a new documentary to be screened at Boston College on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Shot on location in Berlin, "Writing on the Wall: Remembering the Berlin Wall" will be shown at 7 p.m. in Fulton Hall on BC's Chestnut Hill campus, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill. The screening is free and open to the public.

"The Berlin Wall holds both real and metaphorical meanings, its presence physically dividing East and West Berlin, while symbolically representing Communist oppression," said John Michalczyk, a professor fine arts at Boston College who co-produced the film with his BC colleague Ronald Marsh.

Among the voices and stories featured in the film are: Edwina Sandys, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter; Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev's son; Thomas Flanagan, who has involved in the Berlin Airlift; Klaus Schutz, former mayor of West Berlin; Heidi Roseneck-O’Sullivan, an escapee from East Berlin; Baron Hermann von Richthofen, a former German Ambassador to Great Britain; Wolfgang Thierse, Vice-President of the German Parliament, and Alexandra Hildebrandt, Director of the Museum at Checkpoint Charlie.

Berlin Wall

"Writing on the Wall" is part of the German Embassy’s Freedom Without Walls campaign, a commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, signaling the end of the Cold War, the beginning of a new era in European unity, and that peaceful change is possible.

BC is one of some 30 US colleges and universities, and one of only six in New England, selected to partner with the German Embassy and Germany’s Consulates General on this campaign, which was designed to reach out to the generation that was born around the time the wall came down. For complete information on how Boston College is marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, click here.

"Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the vestiges of the wall remind us that freedom is precious," said German Ambassador Klaus Scharioth. "We are proud to support a new generation of future leaders in their effort to discover and to share what the fall of the wall means to them."

Many members of the BC community contributed to the film. The script was written by Michalczyk, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program Susan Michalczyk and German Studies Professor Michael Resler, who also served as associate producer/field producer. Music Assistant Professor Ralf Yusuf Gawlick was responsible for the musical composition. The musical performance was by the Hawthorne String Quartet, BC's quartet-in-residence.

Musical consulting was offered by Music Dept. Lecturer Barbara Gawlick and adjunct faculty member Mark Ludwig. Media Technology Services Audio Engineer Jonathan Sage worked on sound. Students Christopher Demaras and Thomas Galvin and alumni John Michalczyk III, Nathan Staudinger and William Keane were production assistants.

Funding for the documentary was provided by Boston College (Institute of Liberal Arts, Fine Arts/Film Studies, Calderwood Chair, Salmanowitz Program, Jesuit Institute); Laura and Lorenz Reibling Foundation; Thomas J. and Erma Jean Tracy Foundation; Rotary Club of Scituate, and The Ordelheide Foundation..

For more information contact Kathleen Sullivan, Boston College News & Public Affairs, (617) 552-8644 or To contact the filmmakers, call Prof. Michalczyk at 617-552-3895 or email him at