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German & Scandinavian Studies, Deparment of Languages and Literatures


The Reel East Germany

Presented by the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst in collaboration with Germanic Languages and Literatures

Screenings are free and open to the public!

All films will be shown with English subtitles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

The Rabbit is Me Dir. Kurt Maetzig, 1965/1990, b/w, 109 min.

A young student has an affair with a hypocritical judge who had once sentenced her brother for political activity… Banned for over 25 years this film earned critical praise after the fall of the Wall as one of the most important and courageous works ever filmed by the East German studios.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

The Legend of Paul and Paula Dir. Heiner Carow, 1973, color, 106 min.

The film winningly portrays everyday life in East Berlin in a story of undefeatable love between a passionate single mother and a married bureaucrat. Featuring the music of the East German cult rock band, The Pudhys, the film proved so popular that official media blackouts could not keep audiences away.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

Return to Go! Dir. Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss, 2000, color, 90 min.

Breezily told and frequently funny, this gay tragicomedy addresses racism, AIDS, friendship, death, disability and, ultimately, the fragile and ephemeral joy of living. Sam is a black man from East Germany, living in Berlin, searching for Mr. Right and the meaning of life. His dream is to record his own CD with GDR pop songs. This screening is co-sponsored by The Stonewall Center UMass.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005 7:30PM, UMass, Isenberg School of Management 137

Barluschke Dir. Thomas Heise, 1997, color, 90 min.

In his quest to be legendary, Bertold Barluschke became an informer both for the East German secret service and for the West German Intelligence. When his services were no longer required, he pointed a camera at his own family like a weapon. Part of the 12 th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at UMass.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

Two Films by painter and filmmaker Jürgen Böttcher

The Wall 1989/90, color & b/w, 98 min.

A poetic and enigmatic documentary that relies on sight and sound to contemplate the Berlin Wall's historic and symbolic significance. The director used the Wall as an abstract screen on which to project the past.

A Place in Berlin 2001, color, 88 min.

History and art in Berlin 's new center. Like a fossil, the Marx-Engels-Forum, a large, ambitious monument of the GDR, adorns a central historical spot in the middle of Berlin. The experimental documentary is a story about the loss of a monument's meaning. Accompanied by a free jazz concert.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

The Architects Dir. Peter Kahane, 1990, color, 97 min.

Filmed as the GDR crumbled, this somber, finely drawn portrait of life in East Berlin depicts a young architect whose life and goals are strangled by communist dogma represented in part by the older generation. (DVD Release Premiere)*

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

Up and Down Dir. Joseph Orr, 1994, color, 80 min.

For Franz life is a series of pitfalls, which he manages to find everywhere. Maybe true love can change everything? Franz sees his ideal woman on the tram and searches the whole city for her. A comedy set in Berlin when the city was an endless construction site.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 8:00PM, UMass, Campus Center, 163 C

Good Bye, Lenin! Dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2002, color, 121 min.

The German box office hit of the decade: In this disarming and offbeat comedy, a young German attempts to convince his mother that the Berlin Wall is still standing and Communism rules East Germany after she awakes from a long coma. Organized by the UMass Student Activities Center and the International Programs Office.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 6:00PM, UMass, Herter Hall 231

The Silent Star Dir. Kurt Maetzig, 1960, color, 95 min.

An international expedition is sent to Venus to decipher a message found in the Gobi desert: a declaration of war on the Earth. Based on a Stanislaw Lem novel. The original and unedited version of East Germany 's first sci-fi movie. (DVD Release Premiere)*

*These films were just released on DVD by the DEFA Film Library at UMass and can be ordered online