Jadup and Boel

(Jadup und Boel)

GDR, 1981/1988, 100 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


In a small town, everyone has tried to forget what happened shortly after WWII. That is, until a stranger finds a book that Jadup gave to the young refugee, Boel, over 30 years ago. Painful memories of the period after the war and of Boel and her sudden disappearance begin to surface. Jadup, now the town's respected and popular mayor, remembers how he doubted and failed his friend Boel when rumors of a rape arose and some had blamed a Russian soldier. He hadn't even noticed that Boel had been in love with him. Jadup's confrontation with the past gives him a new, critical view of his current situation and surroundings.


This subject matter was considered so controversial by GDR authorities that Jadup and Boel was first censored and then banned and not released until 1988. The Stasi had privately initiated allowing Rainer Simon to direct the film in order to test his political reliability, and he was not permitted to produce any futher films dealing with contemporary material.


2018 Images of the Future: The Cinema of East Germany, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2009 Shown at the Berlin Film Festival Retrospective

Press comments

“An extraordinary work! Combining gentle sarcasm with lyrical and even supernatural elements, Jadup and Boel paint[s] a picture of the GDR at once affectionate and highly critical.”
— Joshua Feinstein, The Triumph of the Ordinary 1949-1989


“[The film] is real and metaphoric, direct and never naturalistic, it’s critical without polemic, it’s tough, lovingly wise.”
— Peter Ahrens, Die Weltbühne


“Without doubt, this is Simon’s most complex and at the same time most aesthetically suggestive and playful film.”
— Fred Gehler, Sonntag


“Rainer Simon’s plea for a relaxed/easy-going relationship to our own history, for an open discussion about the truth of the past and present.”
— Heinz Kersten, film journalist


Buy the DVDStream
DVD Bonus Features:
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • The Case of Jadup and Boel (Larson Powell, 2008)
  • Rainer Simon on Jadup and Boel (2000)

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