In Berlin, a Virtual Reality essay film, tells the story of a New York City-based artist on her first and last trip to Berlin. Told she resembles Anne Frank, she floats through the city feeling like her doppelganger’s aged ghost. The film explores the uncanny effects of wearing a VR headset, to recreate and share the experience of the unreal, of dissociation, of disembodiment that the filmmaker felt when traveling through Berlin for the first time: one foot grounded in the physical, the other, traipsing across history and memory. “In Berlin, the setting is the story,” she recounts, “so many stories just below the surface.” Her voice invites the viewer into her head as she attempts to untangle this strange disembodied sensation the city instills in her. Encounters with the major sites, archival materials, locals, an old friend, slowly unearth her unreconciled inherited trauma from the Holocaust and need for historical memory.
Annie Berman is a New York-based filmmaker and media artist. Named one of Independent Magazine’s “10 Filmmakers to Watch,” her work has shown internationally in cinemas, festivals, galleries, universities, and conferences, including the MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Camden International Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Spring/Break Art Fair NYC, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger Berlin, and the Rome Independent Film Festival where she was awarded the Best Experimental Film Prize. Her films include The Faithful (2021), Utopia 1.0: Post-Neo-Futurist-Capitalism in 3D! (2015/2017 in VR), and Street Views (2013). She received her MFA from Hunter College and teaches film at City College.