I have attended two movies so far in Goethe institute Amman. I mainly attended these movies because I wanted to improve my German. No one told me how things happen when these movies are shown. Here I am now trying to give a picture of what takes place each time a movie is shown. Overall, my experience was great!
A man from the Institute, who seems to me a good expert on movies, gives a few minutes of explanation in "German" regarding the background of the movie (the actors, the directors, the plots, the prizes the movie won; if any, important points to concentrate on, etc.). Can all the audience fully understand what is said? The answer is no and this is easily deduced because the head of Goethe Institute in Amman always translates what is being said in German.
We then watch the movie which is shown with subtitles (in the previous two times, they were Arabic).
After the movie finishes, and this is the best part in my opinion, the audience discusses the movie. This is a very beautiful thing because I am always impressed by the different ways each one seem to understand the movie. “Did we watch the same movie?” I one time asked myself.
Sometimes, points of disagreement arise. Each one would then have a chance to explain his point of view. The discussion takes place in German. At least, at the beginning! But as the heat of discussion increases, or as some of the non-German speaking people want to participate, the discussion ends in English. Very interesting!
"User discretion is advisable" as the movies are shown in full without any kind of censorship of the sexually-explicit contents. So, there will come the moments in which there are no clothes… kissing… so on and so forth of these scenes that are NEVER shown on Arabic channels airing foreign movies. This does not mean that the audience is all-males! Many females are there.
All in all, I have not formulated a full opinion regarding how much “language” benefit you get from attending such an activity by Goethe institute. Because last time, the movie that they showed told the story of an Italian family that immigrated to Germany. Nothing is wrong with the story, on the contrary, it was a nice movie. The problem was that at least 2/3 of the movie was in Italian! “It is a good movie, but I came to Goethe to improve my German”. I raised my hand and gave this feedback during the discussion. I think that they agreed with me.
I highly think that I will re-try the experience and attend others movies at Goethe! If the head of Goethe Institute is there translating and attending the movie with us, then this shows me how carefully prepared this activity is!