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Berlin, Divided Heaven: From the Ice Age to the Thaw
Touring Film Series


1980, East Germany (DEFA), color, 102 min.
Dir.: Konrad Wolf
Script: Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Camera: Eberhard Geick
Editing: Evelyn Carow
Music: Günther Fischer
Cast: Renate Krößner, Alexander Lang, Dieter Montag, Heide Kipp, Klaus Brasch
35mm, English subtitles - renting information
VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:


Sunny is a pop singer in a mediocre band. She longs to be happy and recognized as someone special. Sunny gets kicked out of the band, but she starts over in the "underground" scene of Prenzlauer Berg in East Berlin. A huge box-office success, this film addressed the longings and frustrations of East German Youth. SOLO SUNNY also artfully captures the GDR version of "70's style" in its gritty-glitzy visuals and its catchy soundtrack. Its success promised a youthful renewal in DEFA, yet two "discoveries" among its youth talent - star Renate Krößner and cinematographer Eberhard Geick - soon felt compelled to pursue their careers in the West.

"an interesting, perceptive, and sometimes amusing portrait." - Bloomsbury Foreign Film Guide

"critical and refreshingly entertaining . . . signals a bright new trend in the East German feature pix for the 1980's." - Variety

Awarded the Silver Bear at the 1980 Berlin Film Festival.

About the Director:

On October 20, 1925 Konrad Wolf was born in Hechingen, Baden-Württemberg. His father, Friedrich Wolf, was a prominent doctor as well as a writer, known especially for his anti-fascist activism. Because of Friedrich Wolf's political activities, the family went into exile in 1934. In March of that year, they settled in Moscow. Konrad and his brother Markus attended the German Karl-Liebknecht-School in Moscow. In 1936 the Wolf family became citizens of the Soviet Union.  In December of 1942, at 17 years of age, Konrad voluntarily enlisted in the Red Army. In January he was sent to the front, where he served primarily as an interpreter. He took part in the liberation of Warsaw in 1945 and was later awarded the Red Star for his military service. After the war ended, Wolf worked for the Berliner Zeitung as a reporter of local news and took part in the founding of DEFA. In 1954 Wolf began his career as a director with DEFA. Over the course of this career, he directed numerous films and became internationally renowned for his work, especially his anti-fascist films.

Wolf took over the position of President of the Academy of Arts in 1965, a post that he held for 17 years. He died on March 7, 1982 before completing his final film Busch Singt. He received numerous awards for his filmmaking, such as the Karlovy Vary Grand Prize for Lissy in 1957, the Special prize of the Jury at Cannes 1959 for Sterne, and Prize for the Arts of the Society for German-Soviet Friendship for Sonnensucher and Ich war neunzehn in 1975.

Major Films:

Einmal ist keinmal (1954/55), Genesung (1956), Lissy (1957), Sonnensucher (1958), Sterne (1959), Professor Mamlock (1960/61), Der geteilte Himmel (1963/64), Der kleine Prinz (1966), Ich war neunzehn (1968), Goya (1971), Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz (1974), Mama, ich lebe (1977), SOLO SUNNY (1980), Busch singt (1982).

About the Scriptwriter:

Wolfgang Kohlhaase was born on May 13, 1931 in Berlin. He began writing while he was in school in Berlin, and in 1947 he was a volunteer as well as an editor for a youth newspaper. He also worked for the FDJ newspaper Junge Welt. He began his career at DEFA in 1950; by 1952 Kohlhaase was a freelance scriptwriter and author. Some of his major works include: Alarm im Zirkus, Der Fall Gleiwitz, Berlin um die Ecke, Ich war Neunzehn, Solo Sunny, Der Bruch, and Der Aufenthalt.

Related reading:

Byg, Barton. "Konrad Wolf: From Anit-Fascism to Gegenwartsfilm." Studies in GDR Culture and Society, 5: Selected Papers from the Tenth New Hampshire Symposium on the German Democratic Republic. Margy Gerber, ed. (1985): 115-124.

Bahr, Gisela. "Film and Consciousness: The Depiction of Women in East German Movies."  Gender and German Cinema: Feminist Interventions.  Vol. I: Gender and Representation in New German Cinema. Sandra Frieden, Richard W. McCormick, Vibeke R. Peterson and Laurie Melissa Vogelsang, eds. Providence: Berg, 1993. 125-40.

Coulson, Anthony S. "Paths of Discovery: The Films of Konrad Wolf." DEFA: East German Cinema, 1946-1992. Seán Allan and John Sandford, eds. New York: Berghahn, 1999. 164-182.

Kohlhaase, Wolfgang. "DEFA: A Personal View." DEFA: East German Cinema, 1946-1992. Seán Allan and John Sandford, eds. New York: Berghahn, 1999. 117-130.

- - - . "Some Remarks about GDR Cinema." Selected Papers from the Twelfth New Hampshire Symposium on the German Democratic Republic 8. Margy Gerber, ed. Lanham, MD: UPs of America, 1987. 1-6.

Rinke, Andrea. "From Models to Misfits: Women in DEFA Films of the 1970's and 1980's." DEFA: East German Cinema, 1946-1992. Seán Allan and John Sandford, eds. New York: Berghahn, 1999. 183-203. Also appears in: Triangulated Visions. Women in Recent German Cinema. Ingeborg Majer O'Sickey and Ingeborg von Zadow, eds. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998. 207-218.

Silberman, Marc. "Remembering History: The Filmmaker Konrad Wolf." New German Critique 49 (Winter 1990): 163-191.

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