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WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany
Honorary host of the series, Academy-Award nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl

The North American tour stops in Amherst!

After its premiere in Los Angeles in spring 2009 and screenings in
Bloomington, Boston, New York, Montreal, San Francisco, Scranton and Washington D.C.,

WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany is stopping in Amherst.
The DEFA Film Library, organizer of the series, will screen
nine feature films and three documentaries at UMass Amherst,
on four Saturdays from February through April.

WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany is a film series commemorating the great turning point—the Wende—that took place in Germany 20 years ago. It showcases movies made by East German filmmakers from 1988 to 1994, many of which were forgotten in the midst of social change and never subtitled or screened outside of Germany. Here, the filmmakers depict radical change and the disintegration of the East Bloc with tools they acquired from a long and illustrious filmmaking tradition and professional training at the East German Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. According to Ian Birnie, director of the film department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “The resulting range of cinematographic style and vocabulary is breathtaking.”

Most of the WENDE FLICKS titles were made by the last generation of East German filmmakers, many of whom had not been allowed to make their own films before. Their repressed talents exploded in films such as: Herwig Kipping’s radical critique of Stalinism in East Germany, The Land beyond the Rainbow (1991); Jörg Foth’s satirical performance film, Latest from the Da-Da-R (1990), featuring cabaret artists Stephen Mensching and Hans-Eckardt Wenzel; Ulrich Weiβ’ surreal look at East Germany society, Miraculi (1991); 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. Celebrated scriptwriter Stefan Kolditz and director Peter Welz address the post-Wall predicament of eastern Germany in the comic adventure, Burning Life (1994).  And director Heiner Carow, who supported many young East German filmmakers in the 1980s, is represented with his East-West love story, The Mistake (1991).

The documentaries depict a world from the punk and glam rock music scene in East Germany in 1988 (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). Certain feature films revisit flashpoints of East Bloc history, such as the Prague spring of 1968 (Roland Gräf’s The Tango Player, 1991). Others—such as Peter Kahane’s The Architects (1990) and Helmut Dziuba’s Jana and Jan (1991)—assess East German society, even as it was slipping away.



All screenings FREE and open to the public. Films shown in German with English subtitles

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6                                 ► CHANGE & UNREST                           227 Herter Hall

 3:00 – 5:00 pm           The Architects (1990, Dir. Peter Kahane)

A young architect struggles to effect change in East Germany.

 7:30 – 10:00 pm         whisper & SHOUT  (1988, Dir. Dieter Schumann)

 A documentary on the East German punk & glam rock scene.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27                   ► THE WALL COMES DOWN               106 Thompson Hall

 1:00 – 3:00 pm           Jana and Jan (1991, Dir. Helmut Dziuba)

Two teenagers in juvenile detention, where love is taboo.

 3:15 – 5:00 pm           The Wall (1989/1990, Dir. Jürgen Böttcher)

A poetic meditation on the Berlin Wall.

 7:30 – 9:30 pm           The Mistake (1991, Dir. Heiner Carow)

An East-West love story – when such love was illegal.


 SATURDAY, MARCH 27                                      ► LOOKING BACK                                   227 Herter Hall

1:00 – 3:00 pm           The Land beyond the Rainbow – (1991, Dir. Herwig Kipping)

A harsh, yet poetic critique of Stalinism.

 3:00 – 5:00 pm           Miraculi (1990, Dir. Ulrich Weiß)

Avant-garde images of a universal uncertainty and shattered world.

 7:30 – 9:30 pm           The Tango Player (1991, Dir. Roland Gräf)

 After his release, a political prisoner tries to rebuild a life.


SATURDAY APRIL 24                                          ► UNIFICATION / AFTERMATH          227 Herter Hall

 1:00 – 3:00 pm           Herzsprung (1992, Dir. Helke Misselwitz)

Three years after the Wall, unemployment and racism are rampant.

 3:00 ­– 3:15 pm          Eastern Landscape (1991, Dir. Eduard Schreiber)

                                    The East as a landscape of discarded lives.

 3:15 – 5:00 pm           Latest from the Da-Da-R (1990, Dir. Jörg Foth)

The satire of cabaret-artists Mensching & Wenzel.

 7:30 – 9:30 pm           Burning Life (1994, Dir. Peter Welz)

A comic gangster duo seeks to right the wrongs in eastern Germany.

The touring film series, WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany, has been made possible by DEFA-Stiftung, German Information Center USA, University of Massachusetts Amherst, ICESTORM International, ANTAEUS Film, defa-spektrum, Kinowelt International, Medien Bildungsgesellschaft Babelsberg, PROGRESS Film-Verleih, VSI HD media services.

Local screenings have been made possible by: the German Information Center; the DEFA Film Library; the Film Studies and German & Scandinavian Studies programs and the Kade German Language Suite at UMass Amherst.

For more information, please:
See http://www.umass.edu/defa/filmtour/wendeflicks.shtml  -  Call 413-545-2350 or -545-6681  -  or Email defa@german.umass.edu


For questions related to the website please contact
Jessica Hale