The intense political turmoil across Europe in the early 1930s led many artists to become refugees, including many German filmmakers who made the choice to try their luck in Hollywood.

This creative exodus revolutionized the American film industry and established a relationship of creative exchange between nations.

“A lot of the German street fair expressionism was an aesthetic that influenced the film noir,” said Barbara Kosta, a professor and the head of German Studies at the University of Arizona.

Kosta is also an instructor for the [University of Arizona Humanities Seminars Program] (, a series of short courses on an array of different subjects designed to appeal to life-long learners.

Kosta lectures about German cinema, both historical and contemporary, using Germany’s first sound film Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) as a starting point.

Exemplifying the cross-cultural exchange between Germany and the U.S., Austrian-American film director Josef von Sternberg departed Hollywood for Germany to make the film, which was commissioned by German producer Erich Pommer and starred Marlene Dietrich.

Kosta uses The Blue Angel to characterize the era as being one of "a vibrant global cinema, with Berlin acting as the hub."