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First East German Summer Film Institute: "Interdisciplinary Approaches to the DEFA Film”

Sponsored by The DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Held at Smith College, Northampton, MA, June 25-July 1, 2001


  • Barton Byg, DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Invited Filmmakers/Critics

  • Thomas Heise, Director
  • Dr. Günter Jordan, Author & Director
  • Ralf Schenk, Film Critic & Historian
  • Elke Schieber, Filmmuseum Potsdam

Program Schedule

Monday, 25 June 2001

Film Screening: Apaches (Apachen), Dir. Gottfried Kolditz, 1973, 98 minutes

Tuesday, 26 June 2001

Opening Session: East Germany and DEFA in Interdisciplinary Discourses, led by Barton Byg, DEFA Film Library, and Sylvia Klötzer, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (Potsdam)


  • Allan, Seán. “DEFA: An Historical Overview.”

Workshop 1, Part I: Genre Film and Cultural Clichés: How the East was Won: Identity Formation Between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Imperialism, led by Katrin Sieg, Indiana University


  • Sieg, Katrin. “Race and Reconstruction: Winnetou in Bad Segeberg.”

  • Gemünden, Gerd. “Between Karl May and Karl Marx: The DEFA ‘Indianerfilme’ (1965-1983).”

  • Poiger, Uta G. Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany.

Film Screening: Snow White (Schneewittchen) Dir. Gottfried Kolditz, 1961, 61 minutes, Introduction by Ralf Schenk

Film Screening: Hot Summer (Heißer Sommer) Dir. Joachim Hasler, 1968, 97 minutes, Introduction by Betheny Moore

Wednesday, 27 June 2001

Workshop 1, Part II: Genre Film and Cultural Clichés: Fairy Tales and the Socialization of Children, led by Susan Cocalis, University of Massachusetts


  • Wiedemann, Dieter. “Es war einmal. . .—Reise ins DEFA-Märchenland.”

  • König, Ingelore. “DEFA-Kinderfilme—Ankunft in den Neunzigern.”

  • Wiedemann, Dieter. “Der DEFA-Kinderfilm—zwischen pädagogischem Auftrag und künstlerischem Anliegen.”

  • Schneewittchen 1961.”

  • Cocalis, Susan. “Introduction: DEFA Fairytale Films,” and “Contextual Notes for Snow White.

Presentation: “Darstellung der Juden in frühen DEFA-Wochenschauen und -Dokumentarfilmen.” Günther Jordan

Film Screening: Destinies of Women (Frauenschicksale) Dir. Slatan Dudow, 1962, 105 minutes

Film Screening: Marriage in the Shadows (Ehe im Schatten) Dir. Kurt Maetzig, 1947, 105 minutes, followed by a discussion with Professor Frank Stern

Thursday, 28 June 2001

Workshop 2: Gender in GDR Popular Culture, led by Sara Lennox, University of Massachusetts, and Betheny Moore, DEFA Film Library


  • Bebel, August. “Woman in the Future.”

  • Alsop, Rachel. “Rhetoric and Reality: Women’s Employment in the GDR.”

  • Poiger, Uta G. Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany.

  • Dyer, Richard. “Entertainment and Utopia.”

  • Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media.

Workshop 3: Representations of Jews and of the Holocaust in DEFA Films, led by Frank Stern, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Beer Sheva, Israel)


  • Stern, Frank. “The Return to the Disowned Home—German Jews and the Other Germany.”

  • Herf, Jeffrey. Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys.

Film Screening: Jammed—Let's Get Moving (Stau—Jetzt geht’s los), Dir. Thomas Heise, 1992, 85 minutes, Director Present.

Film Screening: New Town: The State of Things (Neustadt: Stau—Stand der Dinge), Dir. Thomas Heise, 2000, 90 minutes, Director Present.

Friday, 29 June 2001

Workshop 4: Documentary Film and Right-Wing Youth, led by Barton Byg, DEFA Film Library


  • Rabinowitz, Paula. They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary.

  • Ostow, Robin. “ ‘Ne Art Bürgerwehr in Form von Skins’: Young Germans on the Streets in the Eastern and Western States of the Federal Republic.”

  • Schmidt, Michael. The New Reich: Violent Extremism in Unified Germany and Beyond.

  • Hasselbach, Ingo, with Tom Reiss. “Personal History: How Nazis Are Made.”

Panel: Teaching Film with Technology

  • Joan Keck Campbell, Golden Online German Programs

  • Katherine Faull, Bucknell University

  • Sandra Frieden, University of Houston

  • Keiko Yamane, Hosei University, Japan

Film Screening: Sun Alley (Sonnenallee), Dir. Leander Haussmann, 1999, 90 minutes, Introduction by Ralf Schenk

Saturday, 30 June 2001

Concluding Forum: East German Film and Anglo-American Film Studies


  • Andrew, Dudley. “The ‘Three Ages’ of Cinema Studies and the Age to Come.”


The DEFA Film Library gratefully acknowledges support from: ICESTORM International Inc.; the DEFA Foundation (Berlin); DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service); Progress Film-Verleih GmbH (Berlin); and the Max Kade Foundation. University of Massachusetts Co-Sponsors include: the Vice Chancellor for Research; the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; the Modern European Studies Program; and the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. Five College Co-Sponsors include: the Five-College Film Council; the Five-College Lecture Fund; the German Department and Program in European Studies at Amherst College; Hampshire College; the Film Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College; and Smith College.

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