DEFA Film Library
at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cinema of East Germany
Released by the DEFA
THE WENDE FLICKS COLLECTION, a new 11-DVD set of eight feature films and four documentaries from former East Germany is being released on November 9 by the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The DVD collection features works that were shown during the past year as part of the touring film series“WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany” in Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Montreal and San Francisco.The set includes nine feature films and four documentaries made by East German filmmakers from 1988-94. Extensive bonus features accompany the films and give an insight into the challenges of film production in a period of radical upheaval.
THE WENDE FLICKS COLLECTIONfeatures films that got lost in the midst of social change, many of which were never subtitled or screened outside of Germany. The collection brings most of these films to the international public for the first time on DVD. “The resulting range of cinematographic style and vocabulary is breathtaking.” (Ian Birnie, director of the LACMA film department)
Most of the WENDE FLICKS titles were made by the last generation of East German filmmakers, many of them had not been allowed to make their own films before.
Their repressed talents exploded in films such as: Herwig Kipping’s surreal and radical critique of Stalinism in East Germany, The Land beyond the Rainbow (1991); Jörg Foth’s satire, Latest from the Da-Da-R (1990), featuring cabaret artists Stephen Mensching and Hans-Eckardt Wenzel; and Helke Misselwitz’ story of love and racism, Herzsprung (1992). Silent Country (1992), the debut film of Andreas Dresen – one of today’s best-known German directors – looks at the Wende with a tragicomedic eye. Director Heiner Carow, who supported many young East German filmmakers in the 1980s, is also represented with his East-West love story, The Mistake(1991). The documentaries in the set depict a world from the punk and glam rock music scene in East Germany in the late 1980s (Dieter Schumann’s whisper & SHOUT), to the Leipzig demonstrations of fall 1989 (Gerd Kroske and Andreas Voigt’s Leipzig in the Fall), to the ensuing dismantling of the Berlin Wall and a country’s way of life (Jürgen Böttcher’s The Wall,1989/90, and Eduard Schreiber’s Eastern Landscape, 1991).
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