DEFA Film Library
at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cinema of East Germany
Berlin um die Ecke
(Berlin Around the Corner)
1965 (1990), East
Germany (DEFA), b/w, 82 min.
Gerhard Klein and Wolfgang Kohlhaase enjoyed such huge successes with their "Berlin
Trilogy:" Alarm at the Circus (Alarm im Zirkus), A Berlin Romance
(Eine Berliner Romanze), and Berlin - Schönhauser Corner (Berlin
- Ecke Schönhauser); they embarked on bringing a new idea to life, which was
to be called Berlin: Chapter IV. This time they depicted young people in
the divided metropolis of Berlin - their feelings about life, their moral attitudes,
their work, and their loves.
The Wall was by
now a stark reality. Kohlhaase says, "We thought it had to be possible from that
time on to talk all the more earnestly and openly about our own contradictions."
The author broadened his range of characters considerably, giving equal importance
to young and old. There is a shocking scene in which a young worker tried to beat
up an old functionary in a dark corridor. The inner world of the protagonists was
believable, and the basic tone was of an almost excruciating honesty. There was
passion among the old men, recalcitrance among the young men, and a chasm between
translated these awesome problems into an exciting story, avoiding didactic aspects
and honing the scenes, not missing the Berlin dialect. It was an art of story telling
that seemed so easy and effortless, offering a rare and real chance to captivate
viewers of all ages with a working-class theme.
was the fate of this film shared with the other "Rabbit films" - it was banned in
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