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Beginning on 4 October 1989, a student collective in Dresden documented moments of the peaceful revolution. Where pictures were not possible, original sounds from police radio, church services or original interviews carry the film. The result is a convincing authenticity, the "breath" of time captures the viewer of today. More is told here than all the retrospectives together can, because the film leaves room for feeling in, being there and thinking along. In a subsequent epilogue in January 1990, those people who did not yet want to face the camera in October have their say. KF
On a free-floating concrete platform, somewhere in a universe, five haggard figures stand. Each of their movements results in an imbalance and poses a danger to the entire system. Their cooperation becomes a balancing act ... The German filmmakers Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein received the Oscar for the best animated short film for their puppet show in 1990. Duscha Kistler
The story of Friedrich Wolf about a beautiful seagull and a young woodpecker who have a hard time finding their place as an unequal couple. Figures and backgrounds created by the painter Andreas Dress were cut up and animated by employees of the DEFA studio. Nadja Rademacher
Accompanied by a poem by Volker Braun, the portrait of a 26-year-old brigade leader from the Premnitz chemical fibre factory was intended to serve the strategy of later DEFA films of radiating new thinking with the help of a sympathetic comrade. Exactly thirty years after the launch of the GDR's chemistry programme, however, instead of optimism and belief in progress, dirt and noise are shown above all. There is talk of broken bones and lungs, of the "damn chemistry", missing apartments and playgrounds. The realization: "If we go on like this, we won't get far." Soon after the shooting it should come true. A look into the dusk of the GDR. ---Grit Lemke
William Kentridge's ironic homage to his hometown, animated on the basis of 25 drawings, is the first film in his cycle "Drawings for Projection", in which he develops the triangular story between the Johannesburg building lion Soho Eckstein, his wife and the dreamer Felix Teitelbaum. Here he introduces the central characters of his meta-narrative, which, set in South Africa of the dissolving apartheid, reflects parable-like socio-political power relations.
"You are nothing, your people are everything - discipline and authority, that was my world." Four men - a priest, a head of department, a psychologist, a set designer - all born in the 1920s. In Peter Voigt's documentary they openly talk about their childhood during the Nazi era. "In my parental home feelings could not be expressed, neither pain nor joy - duty for duty's sake - you are nothing, your people are everything - discipline and authority, that was my world." In 1989, four men, born in the 1920s, talk to Peter Voigt about their childhood in the Nazi era. About how naturally they had internalized discipline and the fulfillment of duty and so often joyfully followed the Nazi ideology. The resulting emotional vacuum was easily filled with the "warmth" of community and fascist romanticism.
Although Kati is handicapped, she should learn at a regular school. Bravely the girl fights day by day for the demanded achievements. A moral challenge - not only for their classmates, but also for their parents and teachers. Although Kati is physically handicapped, she and her parents want the girl to be admitted to a "normal" school like all other children. Kati is trying hard and fighting bravely for the required performances. Nevertheless, she experiences a lot of resistance from her surroundings. Some children, but also their parents and teachers, fail to meet the moral challenge of integrating the disabled child into everyday life. The film asks about the individual tolerance of each individual and is therefore still highly topical today. KDF
Living memories of an explosive chapter of Sorbian history: the Turnverband Sokoł, the most important democratic organization of the Sorbs in the Weimar Republic. A meeting of former members becomes a journey through time with historically valuable archive material, documents and expeditions to former locations. "Neither profit nor glory, but unselfish love for every brother and sister and thus for the whole people" was the motto of the very liberal association, which not only served to improve the body, but also to promote the national idea and Pan-Slavism. In a time marked by increasing assimilation and German nationalism, the approximately 20 groups in Upper Lusatia succeeded in getting young people enthusiastic about Sorbian. Former Sokoł-activists report about practice hours in the club, their ideals, the hostilities they were exposed to, and the forced self-dissolution in 1933. The action is led by play scenes of "Kašpork" and "Sokoł Jan": The historical hand puppets, designed by the well-known painter and Sokoł-activist Měrćin Nowak-Njechorński, were used for entertainment at Sokoł events. The film brought up a suppressed story openly, since in the GDR a new foundation of Sokoł was not desired. GL
Poetic investigation into the production of views of a city. There is not one continuous central flow, but rather a collection of impressions that sort themselves hierarchically with or without our intervention, a mental automatism that is extremely emphasized and made conscious by covering parts of the picture by hand. The video is assembled from written, pictorial and auditory particles of reality or meaning that produce a rhythmic interweaving of veiling and unveiling. Ralph Eue
A private coal business in Prenzlauer Berg. Seven big guys and a little woman. Coal men were considered coarse, prison and alcohol were often involved. How can a woman get respect for herself? Wonderfully photographed time picture in East Berlin shortly before the fall of communism. Seven big guys and a small woman - one of the private coal dealers in Prenzlauer Berg. Coal men didn't have a good reputation, they were regarded as rough guys, often prison and alcohol were involved. How can a woman get respect for herself? The camera accompanies the men and women at work, visits them at home, listens to them. She takes her time and finally lets us look beneath the surface. A wonderfully photographed time picture of the Berlin of the 1980s, of the people at the bottom, how they lived and saw their time. Close to life. KF
Legendary testimony and requiem: The extent of the destruction of a landscape and its consequences, especially for the Sorbs, becomes visible through images of abandoned villages, gaping wounds in the earth and dreariness in degenerate businesses, reflections by Gerhard Gundermann and Jurij Koch, among others. Shot in Cottbus before the reunification. For the first time aerial photographs show the dimension of devastation. The landscape designer Otto Rindt evokes the vision of a lake country, excavator driver and poet Gundermann questions the sense of progressive overexploitation and consumption per se. The writer Jurij Koch, whose contribution to the making of the film in difficult times director Rocha later emphasized, reads from manuscripts unpublished at that time. He places the destruction of the native landscape and culture in a universal context: "And we are the ones who can provide information about the nature of the fear that afflicts us when our own historical end approaches. For us it has become imaginable, we know what it is like when something comes to an end. We are capable of describing the pain of the declining species as affected..." The screening of the film was repeatedly hindered by GDR state authorities and later by coal and electricity companies. It remains of oppressive topicality. GL