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Denk bloss nicht, ich heule (Just Don't Think I'll Cry)

1965, b/w, 91 min. Feature
Dir.: Frank Vogel
Script: Manfred Freitag, Joachim Nestler
Camera: Günter Ost
Music: Hans-Dieter Hosalla
Cast: Peter Reusse, Anne-Kathrein Kretzschmar, Helga Göring, Jutta Hoffmann

VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:


In September 1963, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the ruling party of the German Democratic Republic, published its "Youth Communiqué." This document mandated that young people should no longer be passive recipients of education, but should be cultivated as independently thinking and acting individuals. Thus the concept "Leaders of Tomorrow" emerged. At the same time, DEFA introduced a series of feature films that portrayed the everyday lives of young people. This group of films included Just Don't Think I'll Cry, the story of an 18 year-old high school senior's conflict with society. Despite his being thrown out of school for writing a provocative essay, he continues to oppose the lethargy and hypocrisy he sees around him. He wants to remain true to himself no matter what the cost. In March 1965 a test screening of the film was held. The reviewers, mostly state officials, condemned the film as "rubbish." Undermined and insecure, DEFA began re-editing the film. But by December 1965, the fate of the film was decided: The Central Committee labeled it, as well as Kurt Maetzig's The Rabbit is Me, as anti-socialist and banned them. In all, eleven films were banned in the following months - almost the entire year's production! Finally, these films reached the public in January 1990 after the fall of the Wall, when they were belatedly acclaimed as masterpieces of critical realism.

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