Home |  Buy |  Rent    

All Titles
Press Room
Contact Us
About Us

Cold War Hot Media

An East German Summer Film Workshop

in conjunction with DEFA International 2011-2012

DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

July 17-24, 2011

Keynote Speaker: Young-Sun Hong (SUNY Stony Brook)
"East Germany's Third World"


Public Film Series, 17- 22 July 2011

Films shown with English subtitles or English voice over.

Organized by the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst

All listed screenings and events are open and free to the public.

All screenings are with English subtitles or in read English voice over.

SUNDAY JULY 17, 2011

4:00 – 5:45 pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
KEYNOTE LECTURE: “East Germany’s Third World”
by Prof. Young-Sun Hong, SUNY Stony Brook

8:00 pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College 
THE DOVE ON THE ROOF (Die Taube auf dem Dach)
GDR/Germany, 1973/2010, Dir. Iris Gusner, 82 min., b&w
Most in Linda’s construction site team are men, so perhaps it is no wonder that she falls in love—not with one, but with two of them…. Officials banned this debut film for what they considered its “unrealistic picture of East German life.” It did not become widely available in Germany until 2010.

MONDAY JULY 18, 2011

2:30pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
THE COMPASS ROSE (Die Windrose) •
GDR, 1956, Artistic Dirs. Joris Ivens, Alberto Calvacanti; Dirs. Wu Kuo-Yin, Yannick Bellon, Gillo Pontecorvo, Alex Viany, Sergei Gerassimov; 104 min., b&w
Five filmmakers each tell a story about the life of a woman – in Brazil, France, China, Italy and the Soviet Union. This episode film’s remarkable international team included authors Jorge Amado, Franco Solinas, Vladimir Pozner and Maximilian Schell (prologue), and actors Simone Signoret, Yves Montand and Helene Weigel (prologue). This production is an exceptional example of how international elements were brought into play by the East German DEFA film studio.

8:00pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
TIME IN THE JUNGLE (Dschungelzeit) •
GDR/Vietnam, 1987, Dirs. Jörg Foth, Tran Vu, 95 min., color
Armin is one of 20,000 Germans who joined the French Foreign Legion (1946-1954). In Vietnam in 1949-50, he decides to desert and support the Vietnamese liberation movement. Wanted by the legion, he flees to the liberated zone. One day, he reads a flyer signed by the GDR government….


8:15pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College
ENCOUNTERS WITH THE GDR (Begegnungen mit der DDR) •
GDR, 1979, 40 min., color, doc.
GDR, 1986, 21 min., color, doc.
These two films were commissioned by the East German Ministry for Foreign Affairs to present an image of East Germany as economically powerful and socially and culturally sophisticated to the international community. These films were never screened for ordinary East Germans.

Introduced by Prof. Thomas Maulucci, American International College, Springfield


2:30pm, Pleasant Street Theater, 27 Pleasant Street, Northampton
A SNOWMAN FOR AFRICA (Ein Schneemann für Afrika) – Recommended age: 9 (subtitles) •
GDR, 1977, Dir. Rolf Losanky, 84 min., color
Asina, a little African girl, eagerly awaits Karli, a young sailor from Rostock who has promised her a special gift the next time he comes. He is bringing her a snowman! An internationally-awarded children’s classic.

Introduced by Prof. Benita Blessing, Faculty Research Fellow, DEFA Film Library

8:00pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
THE GOLDEN YURT (Die goldene Jurte) – Recommended for all ages •
GDR/ Mongolia, 1961, Dirs. Gottfried Kolditz, Rabschaa Dordschpalam, 78 min., color.
Herder Pagwa has to guard a mysterious chest. It must never be opened, or else a drought will overcome his valley of the Red Flowers. Based on a Mongolian folktale, this film features the colorful traditions and magical landscape of this
part of the world.


2:00pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College
FAR FROM KLEIN WANZLEBEN (Jenseits von Klein Wanzleben)
GDR, 1989, Dir. Andreas Dresen, 53 min., color, doc.
An East German “Friendship Brigade” in Zimbabwe. Between their imported smugness and best intentions, they teach Africans construction trades. A student film by the acclaimed German filmmaker Andreas Dresen (Cloud 9, Stopped on Track).

3:00pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College
THE SCOUT (Der Scout)
GDR/Mongolia, 1982, Dirs. Konrad Petzold, Dshamjangijn Buntar, 100 min., color
1877: Settlements of white farmers are forcing the peaceful Nez Perce tribe onto a reservation. When soldiers steal the Native Americans’ horses, chief White Feather decides to get them back. One of twelve so-called Indianerfilm starring Serbian actor Gojko Mitic.

8:00pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
WERE THE EARTH NOT ROUND (Wäre die Erde nicht rund) •
GDR, 1981, Dir. Iris Gusner, 87 min., color
Christiane, from East Germany, and Hatem, from Syria, meet and fall in love while studying in Moscow. As they contemplate a future together, they realize that Christiane would not be able to work as a scientist in Syria. A semi-autobiographical drama by the director of The Dove on the Roof.

FRIDAY JULY 22, 2011

2:00pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith
AFGHANISTAN 1362 – MEMORIES OF A JOURNEY (Afghanistan 1362 - Erinnerungen an eine Reise) •
GDR, 1985, Dir. Volker Koepp, 52 min., color, doc.
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 with GDR consent. Four years later, this film team met people with a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds in Kabul and the provinces. This travelogue took a political risk, as it reflects the director’s doubts that conflicts between countries can be solved by military invention.

3:00pm, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College
NAMIBIA – RETURN TO A NEW COUNTRY (Namibia - Rückkehr in ein neues Land) •
Germany, 1997, Dir. Christoph Schuch, 83 min., color, doc.
The young people interviewed in this film reflect on the experience of the almost 500 Namibians who spent their childhoods in East Germany. Returned to newly liberated Namibia in the year of German unification in 1990, they discuss their sense of identity and the difficulties they face fitting into society.

8:00pm, Graham Auditorium, Hillyer Hall, Smith College
MY DEATH IS NOT YOURS (Mein Tod ist nicht dein Tod)
Germany, 2006, Dir. Lars Barthel, 86 min., color, doc.
A poetic account of the director’s journey into the memory of a haunting, enduring love. Lars Barthel met Chetna Vora, the daughter of an Indian communist parliamentarian, while studying directing in East Germany. They worked together, married and had a child… before eventually going their own ways.


For more information, please contact
DEFA Film Library
Phone (413) 545-6681


Special thanks to the following partners for making the film screenings possible: German Studies, Smith College; AVANTI-Film; defa-spektrum GmbH; DEFA-StiftungKonrad Wolf Academy for Film and Television; PROGRESS Film-Verleih GmbH; ICESTORM Entertainment GmbH; and Ö Filmproduktion GmbH.

The 2011 Summer Film Institute is supported by: 
DEFA-Stiftung; German Academic Exchange Service/DAAD; Max Kade Foundation, Inc.; Goethe-Institut Boston – German Cultural Center for New England; AVANTI-Filmdefa-spektrum GmbHICESTORM Entertainment GmbH; defa-spektrum GmbHPROGRESS Film-Verleih GmbHKonrad Wolf Academy for Film and TelevisionÖ Filmproduktion GmbH; ICESTORM Entertainment GmbHand VSI/HD media services
Five College sponsors:
Department of German, Amherst College; Department of German and Film Studies, Mount Holyoke College; Five College Lecture Fund; Five College Film Council; Hampshire College Media Services
UMass Amherst sponsors:
DEFA Film Library at the UMass Amherst; German and Scandinavian Studies Program, Languages, Literature & CulturesInterdepartmental Program in Film Studies; College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement; Dean of the Graduate School

Back to Top

Back to Teaching and Research

For questions related to the website please contact
Jessica Hale