And Your Love Too
(... und deine Liebe auch)
... und deine Liebe auch © DEFA-Stiftung, Hans-Joachim Zillmer
On August 13th, 1961—the night the Berlin Wall goes up—three people must make a decision that will change their lives forever…
The film opens with a montage of Berlin street snapshots, setting the story’s playful mood. The camera zooms in on a loft, where Ulrich "Ulli" Settich (Armin Muller-Stahl) follows his daily routine. In a voiceover, he introduces young, vivacious Eva (Kathy Szekely), who has just moved to Berlin from a small town. Ulli and Eva narrate their convoluted love triangle with Ulli's adoptive brother Klaus, who works in West Berlin and competes for Eva's attention. On the night of 12 August 1961, all three go dancing and end up in Ulli's apartment. They wake up the next morning in a divided Berlin: Ulli must guard the construction of the Wall as an armed civilian soldier, Klaus is trapped in the East against his will and Eva faces the dilemma of choosing between the brothers.
Upon learning of the building of the Wall, the director and scriptwriter changed the story they were working on to focus on this historic event. For four months a small team filmed with mobile cameras on the streets of East Berlin, capturing both its ordinary life and the extraordinary atmosphere of the period with precision and humor.
Although the Wall itself would later become a taboo subject for East German filmmakers, And Your Love Too deals openly with the topic. The role of the border guard was one of the first major parts played by Academy Award nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl (The Flight, Shine, Angels & Demons).
The film included important documentary footage from Karl Gass’s 1961 Look at This City, including shots of the Soviet-American showdown in October 1961 at Checkpoint Charlie and the public celebration of Soviet astronaut Gherman Titov on East Berlin’s Marx-Engels-Platz. Other Cold War themes such as the Soviet Sputnik program and the Cuban Missile Crisis cast the film's agenda as affirmative of the GDR's separation from the West. Ulli's attic room, where he communicates with a Cuban friend via shortwave radio, suggests parallels between the Wall’s construction and the Cuban "emancipation from capitalism." The phrase "You need to draw a line" becomes the film's core message, repeated by Ulli and Eva at key moments to encourage Klaus–and by extension, the viewers–to accept the German division and to resist the lure of the West. The verbal admonition translates into the image of a dividing black-and-white line on Warschauer Brücke, where both brothers meet on the morning of August 13.
|1991||Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival|
|1963||Heinrich Greif Prize 1st Class (Frank Vogel, Willi Brückner, Günter Ost, and Günter Ost)|
“The realistically captured atmosphere of East Berlin in the summer of 1961 brings the film to life.”
— Erika Richter, Das zweite Leben der Filmstadt Babelsberg
“This film remains fascinating, not only for its documentary character, but because its fragmented visuals and narrative, reminiscent of recent western New Wave films, are so clearly at odds with its political orthodoxy.”
— Katie Trumpener, Yale University