Interview with author Doris Dory: We are surrounded by imagination

Munich A-Z interview with Doris Dore: The 66-year-old Hannover-born writer and director. She moved to California and New York to study acting and theater, and Doris Dory returned to Germany, specifically to Munich, to study directing.

Doris Dory has published more than 30 films and 20 books. In addition to her directing work, she publishes short stories, novels and children’s books. Her new book, “The Heroine’s Journeys,” came out this week. In it, she recounts three trips—to San Francisco, Japan, and Morocco—and about exposing herself as a woman to the unknown, to strangers, and thus to her fears and dependencies. This is how you can become the “heroine of your story”.

“Real heroes don’t often get rewarded.”

AZ: Ms. Dore, at what moments in your life did you feel like a heroine?
Doris Dory: Only once when I had my baby. I said to myself: Oh my God, you really did! I thought I was too stupid for that.

What about your successes as a director and author or your decision to go to the United States on your own as a girl – that was it Also heroic deeds?
No. Thinking in heroic or heroic terms is too far from my mind. Success is a complex web of many factors, and it’s not just me, it’s up to one person. The hero is often a solo fighter, or at least pretends to be in his heroic demeanor, and I’ve never felt that way. In my new book, The Heroine’s Journeys, I attempt to navigate the term more precisely and analyze it in such a way that the radiant hero is bypassed as a paradigm compared to the rest of the world. Because if one can do it alone, it is the opposite of society. But we need the community, the team, the neighbors, and “the rest of the world” – otherwise we’re in trouble.

Does this mean that there are no real heroes?
Yes, but they often become involuntary or attributed to them, although they deny this.

Who is your hero?
Edward Snowden. A person who took a great deal of responsibility and took a huge risk. Real heroes are often not rewarded. On the other hand, the classic hero’s journey in cinema is often related to redemption and reward. Or take the writers and reporters of dictatorships – I admire these people. Or those who work in hospitals in the time of Corona. I often wondered when I would run away in her place.

“Once I had to spend a night in a security cell”

You studied in the USA, you have a close relationship with Japan and you shot films in both countries. What excites you about travel?
Being on the road has always been my ideal. Along the way I felt liberated from myself and dreamed uncontrollably of becoming a different and better version of myself in a foreign country. You could say the German dream of educational trips. The whole world seemed to me an interesting, but basically friendly place, which I now had to wander through in order to learn and grow. I used to be fascinated by backpackers who seemed to be a mix of rock star and hippie—so cool. I also felt like my trip to California at the time was a bit like going on a waltzing trip.

Is it true that you always write “housewife” as the job title on your immigration form to the USA?
Yes, it worked. If you don’t want any trouble, this is the job for you.

Has anyone ever said: This is not what it looks like?
No. It was quite the opposite. As a young manager, I honestly filled out the form and had to immediately submit to endless interrogations. I even once had to spend a night in a security cell at LAX because the cops couldn’t believe I had a deal with Columbia Pictures.

“Because what bad can happen if you overcome shame?”

It is noticeable that you are writing more and more personally and biographically in your books. Was that a conscious decision?
Instead of a long road with many bends. Although I have always been passionate about writing, when I first started I felt that wanting to be a writer was cranky and paranoid. In this regard, it made sense for me to study cinema in order to hide myself. My scripts were turned into cinematography and my scripts were translated by actors and actresses – this was actually my most fun work to date.

A man without money and power, manly, but castrated by dictatorship and capitalism: Yahya Mohini as Sam Ali.

Director Ben Hania in an interview: “We should never follow the first impression”


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Conductor Valery Gergiev with Mayor Dieter Reiter in 2018 when extending the contract at Town Hall.

Mosul commander Gergiev criticized for his attitude towards Russia


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But then came short stories and novels.
These were fictional stories that I could continue to use to disguise myself. The change came through teaching at the College of Film and Television. From the beginning, I encouraged students to write in a personal and autobiographical way in order to find their voice, and this also made me braver as a writer. After all, what’s so bad that can happen if you overcome shame? There is nothing to fear more than a dirty storm, which of course can be horrific. But most importantly, by overcoming shyness, you are making a connection. Getting older helped me too – you realize you’re not as important as you thought. So you can afford more and trust more. In the meantime, I love writing an autobiography—mainly because since my Live, Write, Breathe I have felt in the readings and workshops how my worldview creates entirely new and deeper connections with my readers and their worldview.

“We are moving in a completely dramatic world”

Is there also a yearning for a true autobiography?
Certainly, because we are surrounded and filled with imagination. Everything needs to be told, they say, even politics, and such statements make me want to vomit. Because politics doesn’t have to be about stories, it should be about the truth. We move in a totally dramatic world and every product has a story. However, there is nothing biographical about it, because life eludes dramaturgy. This creates the desire for something unfiltered and real, whatever it is. However, I admit that writing a resume is also a lie. Because as soon as I can remember, I imagine myself, and of course everything I write is shaped and designed as well.

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