Cristina Perincioli

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Cristina Perincioli

Cristina Perincioli (born November 11, 1946 in Bern, Switzerland) is a Swiss film director, writer, multimedia producer and webauthor. She has lived in Berlin, Germany since 1968.

Life and career[edit]

Cristina Perincioli was born in Bern, Switzerland, as third child of the renowned sculptor Marcel Perincioli[1] and his wife Hélène Perincioli-Jörns, a Handweaving Artist. She is the granddaughter of the bernese Sculptor Etienne Perincioli.[2] In 1968, Cristina Perincioli moved to Berlin to study at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb – German Film and Television Academy). This motivated her to documentary films (Nixon in Berlin, Occupation of a Student Residence, Kreuzberg is Ours, Population Explosion) and feature films. Her docufiction about a women's strike, For Women: Chapter 1, from 1971 is one of the first contributions to Women's cinema in West Germany; the film won the "Award of the Film Journalists" at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 1972. Harun Farocki writes: "You can see how much fun liberating knowledge can be."[3]

In 1969 she was active in the anarchist journal agit 883,[4] co-founder of both the Lesbian movement in 1972 and 1973 of the first "Women's Center",[5] and 1977 of the "Rape Crisis Center”, all in (West-)Berlin. In 1975 she wrote with her partner Cäcilia Rentmeister[6] the screenplay for the first feature film about a lesbian relationship produced for German television ("Anna and Edith", ZDF/Second German TV Channel).

In 1977 Perincioli founded the Sphinx Filmproduktion GmbH, with Marianne Gassner as a production manager. The documentary fiction The Power of Men is the Patience of Women (ZDF/ Second German TV Channel, 1978) is also shown internationally. From an interview with Perincioli:

"When in 1974 I saw the first shelters for battered wives in England, I started in Berlin to interview women about domestic violence and found an unsuspected level of abuse. We – women from the women's movement and committed journalists – began from now on, to mobilize the public by radio and television broadcasts and by the book 'Violence in Marriage'. 1976 the first women's shelter opened in (West-)Berlin. In 1978 we shot this film together with women from the shelter, acting their own experiences. Internationally successful, the film supported the women's shelter movement in Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and India. The title became a slogan."[7]

Michael Althen[8] described 2008 in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung functions and effects of the film as a "... documentary fiction in which residents of Berlin's first women's shelter replay and comment their experiences with domestic violence. It's not about an individual fate, but about recurring patterns of violence and regret on men's side, about guilt and shame on women's side, about humiliating experiences in offices and the whole vicious circles of social and emotional dependencies. The film is strongest when articulating the silence of the social environment and lack of moral courage."[9]

Perincioli published as radio- and book author. Inspired by research in London and Harrisburg, USA, she contributed to the public debate and awareness about domestic violence and about the risks of nuclear energy.

From 1990 she developed interactive storytelling, and on this basis, a first adventure game with interactive video (1992), and created seven computer serious games for the public space ("Loud is Out", "Oh, the Few Drops", "Female, Male – and In-Between", "Culture Tester Rebellion")[10]

She has taught film production at KIMC Kenya Institute of Mass Communication[11] in Nairobi and the Universität der Künste Berlin, Computer Animation at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb – German Film and Television Academy), the Film School in Potsdam-Babelsberg[12] and the Merz Academy of Art and Design[13] Stuttgart, and Multimedia Design at the School of Design in Bern[14] and Basel[15] until 1997.

From the late 1990s on, Perincioli ventured to use interactive media for "sensitive issues" such as sexual and domestic violence; she created – employing user-friendly methods such as Discovery learning – award-winning web platforms for understanding, counselling and preventing violence, funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation,[16] the Foundation Deutsche Jugendmarke,[17] the Daphne Programme of the European Commission[18] and the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.[19]

In 2015, Cristina Perincioli's new book Berlin wird feministisch. Das Beste, was von der 68er Bewegung blieb (Berlin Goes Feminist. Anarchism - Lesbianism - Feminism) was published in Germany.[20]

She describes the beginnings of the German second women ́s movement in the revolutionary years 1968–1974 in West Berlin. Through a wealth of documents, 80 photographs, reflections and interviews with 28 feminist activists, she shows where she and her fellow campaigners drew their ideas from, as well as the fury and strength they needed to put these ideas into practice. Perincioli also considers the beginnings of the women ́s movement as an example of how the modernization of society was initiated by "direct democratic" actions.

According to Sonya Winterberg the book shows that the second German women's movement has "many mothers":

"Perincioli...[offers] extensive and highly entertaining insights into the early lesbian and women's movement [...] This undogmatic, grassroots, autonomous and highly creative movement gave rise to vibrant projects, women's centers and lesbian groups, some of which still exist today. When Perincioli writes of the 'best that remained of the 68er movement, it is no exaggeration [...] Anyone who still believes that Alice Schwarzer was the mother of the new women's and lesbian movement would do well to take a look behind the scenes here."[21]

Claire Horst also emphasizes the new "look behind the scenes":

"What a biography! Cristina Perincioli provides a first-hand account of the emergence of the second German women's movement, since she was there from the very beginning [...] And she doesn't ignore the turf wars and conflicts within the movement... [Another thing that makes the biography] well worth reading is the self-critical and often humorous stance the author adopts now, without distancing herself from the aims of the time." Horst also stresses the Berlin setting: "The book can also be read as a cultural history of the alternative Berlin of the 60s and 70s."[22]

An English version of the complete book, translated by Pamela Selwyn, is published online: see "Websites" below.


1972 Perincioli received the "Award of the Film Journalists" at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for her thesis film at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb – German Film and Television Academy) "For Women: Chapter 1". Gwendolyn Audrey Foster writes about her directorial work: "Cristina Perincioli is an important figure in the tradition of Straub, Huillet an Fassbinder ..." (in "Women Film Directors. ... An International Guide" 1995, p. 306). Best rating for the CD-ROM "Save Selma" (Serious Game: prevention for children on the subject of sexual abuse) in Feibel's “Software For Children”-Ratings 1999 and 2000.[23] For her web platform "" to prevent violence in relationships (in English and German), Perincioli received at the 6th Berlin Crime Prevention Day 2005 the Securitas Award for the "innovative character of the site in violence prevention."[24] Her website about prevention of sexual violence among young people in 2007 received the Thuringian Women Media Award.



  • Striking my Eyes, Bern/Schweiz (1966)
  • Nixon Visit and Highschool Fight (Weekly Newsreel Collective) (1968)
  • Occupation and Self-Administration of a Student Residence (with Gisela Tuchtenhagen) (1969)
  • For Women: Chapter 1 (writer, director), a Documentary Fiction (1971)
  • Kreuzberg is Ours (camera) (1972)
  • Women Behind the Camera (co-author) (1972)
  • Anna and Edith (book, along with Caecilia Rentmeister), Feature Film, ZDF-TV (1975). Published on DVD by Edition Salzgeber
  • The Power of Men is the Patience of Women (writer, director, producer) feature film/documentary fiction, ZDF-TV (1978). Published on DVD.
  • Population Explosion, KIMC Nairobi, Kenya (1985)
  • With Woman's Weapons (1986)

Writings (selection)[edit]

  • Interviews on the topic of "Domestic Violence: Cases of Abuse" (Germany), and reportages and interviews on “Life in the Women´s Shelter in England", in: Sarah Haffner (Ed.): Domestic Violence – And What Women Do About It, Wagenbach, Berlin 1976
  • Women of Harrisburg, Or: We don't let Us Talk Out of Fear, Rowohlt, Reinbek 1980, further editions 1986, 1991. Total book circulation 20.000.
  • Eye and Ear – Computer and Creativity. A Compendium of Computer Graphics, Animation, Music and Video, co-author (Cillie) Cäcilia Rentmeister, DuMont, Cologne 1990
  • "From Anarchism and Lesbianism to the Women's Center. Why had the Tomato to Fly so Far?", in: Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Feminist Institute (HGIN): How Far was Flying the Tomato? A Reflective Gala of the Women of 68, Boell, Berlin 1999.
  • Berlin wird feministisch. Das Beste, was von der 68er Bewegung blieb, Querverlag, Berlin 2015. See "Websites" for complete English version.


  • – Complete English Version of Cristina Perincioli's book Berlin Goes Feminist. Anarchism - Lesbianism - Feminism (Berlin wird feministisch. Das Beste, was von der 68er Bewegung blieb), Berlin 2015
  • – Exemption strategies from sexual abuse. For young people
  • – Information for victims of domestic violence and for counselors. Website in seven languages: English, German and five other languages
  • – "Anti Violence Awareness": Information, tools and videos for new methods of intervention in domestic violence, more effective assistance and offender programs, for police, health and social care, councils and women's representatives
  • – Violence in relationships: awareness raising and information for men. In English and German
  • – Prevention of sexual violence among young people: Learning platform for young people
  • – Tri-national dairy goat Wiki
  • – Sculptors Perincioli. 100 Years Life and Works at Berne, Switzerland – Works, Biographies, Records and Reception of Etienne and Marcel Perincioli


  • Jutta Phillips, Marc Silberman: If others do not pull out a little power, the film is for the Recycle Bin, in: Aesthetics and Communication, No. 37, Oct. 1979, p. 115 ff
  • Marc Silberman, Gretchen Elsner-Sommer: Two Interviews with Christina Perincioli in JUMP CUT. A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA. no 29, February 1984, pp. 52–53 [3]
  • Julia Knight, Women and The New German Cinema, London 1992, article on Cristina Perincioli
  • Gwendolyn Ann Foster, Women Film Directors. An International Bio-Critical Dictionary. Westport, USA 1995, pp. 305–306: article on Cristina Perincioli
  • Documentary Film about C. Perincioli and U. Sillge, by Anke Schwarz, Sandra (Luka) Stoll und Roman Klarfeld, Das Burlebübele mag I net, Berlin 2008


  1. ^ de:Marcel Perincioli M. Perincioli in Swiss Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-02-13
  2. ^ de:Etienne Perincioli E. Perincioli in Swiss Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-06-18
  3. ^ Retrieved 2010-08-14. The expressive Film-Music was contributed by "Ton Steine Scherben". The film was re-published in 2014 as part of an anthology of 50 years of German Short films by women directors: Claudia Lenssen und Bettina Schoeller-Bouju (Editors): „Wie haben Sie das gemacht? Filme von Frauen aus fünf Jahrzehnten". 2 DVD´s with 24 Short films by German women directors. Absolut Medien 2014. ISBN 978-3-8488-8007-2. Link to Trailer [1]. Retrieved 2015-03-20
  4. ^ de:Agit 883 Retrieved 2011-01-20
  5. ^ Cristina Perincioli: "Why had the Tomato to Fly so Far? From the Women of '68, Anarchism, and Lesbianism to the Women's Center”, in: Gabriele Dennert, Chris Leidner, Franziska Rauchut (Eds): Keep Moving/In Bewegung bleiben. 100 Years of Politics, Culture and History of Lesbians/100 Jahre Politik, Kultur und Geschichte von Lesben, Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3-89656-148-0.
  6. ^ de:Cäcilia Rentmeister C. Rentmeister in German Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-02-10
  7. ^ delete129a und Retrieved 2010-08-20. See also magazine Jump Cut [2], Retrieved 2011-02-12
  8. ^ de:Michael Althen M. Althen in German Wikipedia. Retrieved 2011-02-11
  9. ^ Michael Althen: Interdisciplinary Symposium against Domestic Violence in Educated Milieus. In: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, November 24, 2008 Interdisziplinäres Symposium gegen Häusliche Gewalt in bildungsnahen Schichten. In: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, 24. November 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  10. ^ For Demo Versions see [3] Retrieved 2011-02-11
  11. ^ KIMC "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2011.  Retrieved 2010-08-14
  12. ^ [4] Retrieved 2010-08-14
  13. ^ de:Merz Akademie Retrieved 2011-02-12
  14. ^ Schule für Gestaltung Bern Retrieved 2010-08-14
  15. ^ Website of Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel Retrieved 2010-12-20
  16. ^ [Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt] Retrieved 2010-08-14
  17. ^ [Stiftung Deutsche Jugendmarke] Retrieved 2010-08-14
  18. ^ [5], [6] Retrieved 2011-02-10
  19. ^ [7] Retrieved 2010-08-14
  20. ^ Cristina Perincioli: Berlin wird feministisch. Das Beste, was von der 68er Bewegung blieb, Berlin 2015. ISBN 978-3-89656-232-6. Retrieved 2015-03-09
  21. ^ Sonya Winterberg: "Hinter den Kulissen der 68er Bewegung. Cristina Perincioli dokumentiert die 68er Bewegung aus feministischer, lesbischer Sicht", in: L-MAG, März/April 2015, S.74
  22. ^ Claire Horst: "Cristina Perincioli - Berlin wird feministisch. Das Beste, was von der 68er Bewegung blieb", in: AVIVA-Berlin, März 2015 [8]. Retrieved 2015-03-13
  23. ^ Retrieved 2011-02-11
  24. ^ Verleihung des Berliner Präventionspreises 2005 Retrieved 2011-01-14

External links[edit]