The film was shot with handheld cameras by a mostly young crew of cinematographers. The one exception is Christian Lehmann, who was born in Lehmann had a long career in East Germany, filming dozens of documentaries and documentary shorts. The Wende appears to have had little effect on his career. He continues to film documentaries to this day.
In this documentary, we see Rammstein in its formation phase along with some later concerts by Feeling B.
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Due to various disputes with the bands, this third part has gone through many changes over the years. Neither of these is available for distribution at this time. Freed from the topical restraints imposed by the SED, East German directors briefly found themselves able to make the films they had always wanted to make. We saw something similar in the West during the late sixties when Hollywood was no longer sure what would work at the box office and started letting directors push the boundaries; sometimes successfully The Swimmer , A Space Odyssey , and Bonnie and Clyde , and sometimes, er, interestingly Skidoo , Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
One of the last films to come out of DEFA was Miraculi , but by that time the studio was foundering, and would only release a few more films before closing its doors. The story climaxes on the banks of a lake that has disappeared overnight, leaving a group of jaded party-goers wondering what happened.
The part about the lake is true. As the intertitle at the beginning of the film explains, on June 15, , the Schwarzer See Black Lake near Sagsdorf, Germany vanished during the night. Locals reported hearing a rumbling sound, and the next morning the lake was gone. The gravel pile created a displacement of the shaky clay layers under the lake, which then pushed the water in the lake into a nearby swamp, swallowing up the backhoe and beaching a boat.
Eventually the lake returned, larger and shallower than before. Now trees eerily rise from under the water, and a road dips into the water, reappearing on the opposite bank. Such comparisons are, by their nature, facile and inapt, but they do provide a way to quickly categorize films to either entice or repulse potential viewers. If one were to compare Miraculi to anything, it would have to be Last Year in Marienbad , with its band of decadent party-goers wandering around, talking without listening, all acting as if they are in a dream.
As to this last aspect, Miraculi is less circumspect than Last Year in Marienbad. He began making short documentaries, but by the seventies he was making feature films. He scored his first big hit with Blue Bird Blauvogel , the story of a white boy who is raised by the Indians and then returned to his family seven years later, but it was his film Your Unknown Brother that made the biggest splash. Ostensibly, it was a film about the Nazis, but with its tale of informants and personal betrayals, the story hit a little too close to home.
He made a few short documentaries after the Wende, and taught at the Film and Television Academy in Potsdam, but his directing career was effectively over. Ranisch was born in in Karl-Mark-Stadt now Chemnitz. He studied at the Theater Academy in Leipzig and joined a local theater shortly thereafter. He continues to work in films and television. Stefanie Stappenbeck also appears in a small role as a surveyor at the end of the film. Stappenbeck got her start on East German television, but would go on to a highly successful career in German films after the Wende.
She continued to work in theater throughout her life, and became an outspoken critic against the misuses of power that plagued the SED during its later years in control of East Germany. She was one of the organizers of the demonstration for freedom and democracy on November 4, at Alexanderplatz. Like most of the post- Wende films that came out of DEFA, the public reacted to the film with indifference.
Miraculi played for five days before closing. It would be years before this film would receive the attention it deserved. Even today, the film is not nearly as well known as it should be.
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With the notable exception of horror movies, the East German film industry that is to say, DEFA made films of nearly every genre from westerns to science fiction; from thrillers to romantic comedies. If it were a Hollywood film, Jana and Jan Jana und Jan would be categorized as a women-in-prison film, but without the usual salaciousness and exploitation attached to that genre. It has the usual tropes for these films: the prison social hierarchy, girl fights, and shower scenes, but nothing is Jana and Jan is played for leers or laughs. It is a grim and gray film, with cinematography to match.
There he meets Jana Kristin Scheffer , a tough year-old who sleeps with Jan on a dare. Jana gets pregnant, and then decides at the last minute to have the child. During their incarceration, the Wall opens, and the teens at the detention center are optimistic that this will improve things for them. Director Helmut Dziuba had started working on the script for this film before the Wall came down, but the events at the time led him to rewrite the story to include the Wende , making the narrative even bleaker.
He seems to be saying here that when the Wall was up, at least there was a promise of a better life on the other side of the border, but now there is nothing to look forward to except bleakness and death. Not exactly feel-good material. It is questionable that the script would have seen the light of day before the Wall fell. Even in the final days of the foundering republic, discussion of the topic of trying to cross the border was a touchy one. The Flight managed to get away with it because it showed the fatal futility of trying to do so, and the evil avariciousness of the gangs that arrange these escape efforts.
Dziuba died in It was also the last film for cinematographer Helmut Bergmann. He was already 66 when Jana and Jan came out. He died in in Potsdam. She had starred in his previous film Forbidden Love , in which Brendler plays a year-old girl who is in love with an year-old boy. Brendler is a strong screen presence, and the only thing wrong with that is that it threatens to pull attention away from the main characters. Unlike the two leads in the film, Brendler has gone on to have a highly successful career in films and television in unified Germany. Nor was Jana and Jan the first film for Karin Gregorek, who plays one of the prison administrators.
Gregorek started in films in , and continued acting after the Wende , primarily in television. After the Wall came down and West Germany, for all intents and purposes, took over East Germany, there came the inevitable retrospection.
Das Urteil (The Runaway Jury)
What the hell happened? How did we get from there to here? There were plenty of people who still believed in socialism, and thought it could lead to a better world than unbridled capitalism, but nobody was listening in East German industries were dismantled for salvage and sold to the highest bidders. The Treuhandanstalt was set up to facilitate the privatization with disastrous results.
Over half the workforce in East Germany was laid off, plunging the entire eastern half of Germany into poverty without the safety net previously provided by the State. Anger and resentment took hold. Right-wing extremist groups started arriving from Bavaria and the USA to recruit new members from the youths in cities such as Jena and Cottbus.
This left them particularly susceptible to the simplistic solutions offered by these extrememist groups. Maybe the only way to process what happened was with absurdist comedy. The story takes place in an imaginary town called Stalina. Much of the film, in fact, deals with the issue of what happens when you treat an ideology as a religion, which is what Stalin did, and was what the leaders of the SED did, treating their decisions as proclamations from on high. As a result, the people in the town have gone slightly mad, trying to be good socialists while butting heads with the various officials who come to town and cause trouble for them.
Das Flüstern des Todes: Thriller
The film is narrated by Marie Stefanie Janke , a local girl, who observes the madness around her and manages to rise above it. Add to this, local nymphomaniac Liesbeth Franziska Arnold , an undersized SED official Fred Delmare, not surprisingly , a pale white wraith, a boa constrictor, and various locals who come in and out of the story. The Land Beyond the Rainbow belongs to an unusual and essentially undocumented micro-genre of films that take place in stark, burned-out landscapes with people talking at each other more than with each other.
These are often surreal allegories about the absurdity of modern life, even when the action take place in a distant past or the far future. They are episodic, and their humor is dark and sardonic. Born in , Herwig Kipping was part of the Nachwuchsgeneration —a whole raft of talented young people who were only just getting started as directors when the Wall came down. When he was finally allowed to leave, he was also expatriated, a dishonor the SED reserved for people that really irritated them.
Glatzeder regularly appears in films, on television, and on stage to this day. As it should be, there are several jokes and references intended for stricly East German audiences.
When people in the town vote or not a person should be exiled or censured, everyone raises their hand, including the person being censured. Old school communists put a lot of value in unanimity of opinion. Because of this, votes in the politburo rarely resulted in split decisions. The most famous example of this occurred on October 17, , when the politburo voted to remove Erich Honecker as General Secretary. When the vote came, Honecker also raised his hand along with everybody else. The collective had spoken, so who was he to disagree?
This is a film for people with an understanding of history, and who like their humor sardonic. Fans of unusual and transgressive cinema will definitely want to check this film out. It was an official selection at the Berlinale, although it did not win. When the Berlin Wall finally came down, East Germans danced for joy in the streets. No more Stasi , no more food shortages, no more travel restrictions, and no more fiddling with their Trabis to get the damned things started.
A few months later, the new Volkskammer voted to approve the reunification of Germany, much to the dismay of Margaret Thatcher, who actively petitioned against it. Things were looking up—or so the East Germans thought. Within a year, many East Germans would be regretting their votes. Factories and businesses were taken over by Western conglomerates that immediately started laying off as many people as they could.
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They preferred to hire foreign workers to do the jobs instead, further exacerbating the mounting tensions in the East. Without the safety nets provided by the state, the young people in East Germany were in dire straits, and were wondering what happened to their country when the Nazis started arriving from Bavaria and America, ready to provide easy answers for the local youths. Herzsprung was the first and last East German film to tackle this subject. DEFA would only make six more films before closing up shop. Herzsprung takes place in a small town of the same name that sits on the A24 highway just south of Wittstock.
The proverbial wide spot in the road. The film follows the adventures and misadventures of a woman named Johanna Claudia Geisler as she tries to navigate the changes occurring in her village. The film starts with the termination of her job working in a factory kitchen. It looks like a pretty crummy job, but since her husband Jan had lost his job months earlier, thanks to the closing of the agriculture cooperatives, it meant there would be no money coming in. Unable to find work, Jan has sunken into a state of self-pity and alcoholism, and is becoming physically abusive.
After Jan commits suicide, Johanna starts to take up with a stranger Nino Sandow who recently arrived in town. Kurz nachdem auch noch ihre Hochzeit platzt Doch die Krieger sind verschwunden und Roschar droht zu zerfallen. Sonst ist er tot. Doch die magischen Krieger sind verschwunden und Roschar droht zu zerfallen. Wer waren die Strahlenden Ritter? Er wartet, wie Teil 1 und Teil 2 des Bestsellers "Der dunkle Thron", ebenfalls mit einer buchgetreuen Inszenierung auf.
Ein Held, der sich mit ganzer Kraft gegen sein Schicksal stemmt. Doch die Rettung naht bereits. Nachdem Nicholas - genannt Nick - verhaftet wurde und nun auf der Flucht vor Cromwell ist, droht seine Grafschaft an die Krone oder gar an seine Stiefmutter Yolanda zu fallen. John sehnt sich danach, endlich das Leben mit seiner Familie zu verbringen. Durch geschickte Verhandlungen Bischof Beauforts kann John befreit werden und begibt sich wieder in den Dienst Harrys.
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