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Berlin with Kids: Deutsche Kinemathek

Today I took the kids to Deutsche Kinemathek, the German museum for television and film. It is located in the spectacular Sony Center at historic Potsdamer Platz.

Spectacular Building and Exhibits

The permanent exhibits of the museum are displayed in a spectacular building and assembled in an incredibly attractive manner. Although my kids weren't interested in all that much of the information in the main exhibits (other than the small component on some kids TV shows and kids movies), they were impressed and entertained by the building itself. There are large screens and small screens throughout the exhibits showing different clips and tons of mirrors that reflect things over and over again.

The small bits of information I was able to take in while being chased through by two kids was great. There were several rooms just on Marlene Dietrich.

They had sections describing what happened to the film industry during Nazi Germany. They had a set-up of an Olympic stadium with pictures that were taken there and the stadium would light up to show you where the photographer who took the shot was located. They had sections on film, but also on news with clips from some of the most newsworthy items in recent and older history (my son got to see the plane flying into the World Trade Center - not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it certainly opened up a conversation).

In the Jungle Exhibition

The main reason that we went in today, without which we may not have discovered the rest of this amazing museum, was the In the Jungle exhibition that is currently running for the summer school break.

The exhibition had lots of opportunities for children to view clips from movies about the jungle, ranging from recent animated films (e.g. Jungle Book, Madagascar) to older German kids shows and movies to child-appropriate documentaries (e.g. one on children who were raised by animals, several on endangered species, etc.). The films were shown on large screens, on small screens with headphones attached, and in mini kid-sized viewing stations.

My kids were fascinated by a large map of the world that had a row of pictures of animals below it and a button that could be pushed for each animal. When you pushed on the button, you would hear a recording of the sound that animal makes and the map would light up showing the area where that animal lives. They loved discovering animals that were new to them (e.g. Strawberry dart frogs), old favourites (e.g. tigers), and animals they knew from movies (e.g. the Lemurs like King Julien from Madagascar).

There was also a multimedia exhibit about the ways in which the rain forest is threatened. One of the main issues raised was the unsustainable palm oil trade that threatens orangutans and other wildlife. The multimedia presentation even included a section on the Greenpeace campaign to get Nestle to stop using unsustainable palm oil in its Kit Kat bars and other chocolate.


I would highly recommend this museum to anyone traveling to Berlin, especially if you are interested in film and television and architecture.

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Reader Comments (1)

[...] love photogenic museums. When we were in Berlin, I took tons of photos at the Deutsche Kinemathek museum, which has a spectacular building and gorgeous exhibits. Today we visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum [...]

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