Leipzig in the Fall

(Leipzig im Herbst)

GDR, 1989, 50 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles


This stunningly comprehensive documentary captures the famous Monday Demonstrations of 1989, which began in Leipzig and spread to other East German cities in the months leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Interviews with demonstrators, politicians and bystanders fill out this portrait of the citizens’ movement that precipitated the Wall’s collapse.


Co-director Andreas Voigt recalled filming the movement in Leipzig: “It was an incredibly flickering, exciting, anarchically-beautiful and hopeful time. This short moment of uprising, until the fall of the Wall. In those days, no one knew that this would come to pass.”



The famous Monday Demonstrations can be traced back to the East German peace movement of the early 1980s. East German churches were somewhat autonomous from state, and thus became an important gathering place for peaceful political resistance. After the rigged national elections of May 1989, the independent groups who gathered in churches organized a demonstration in Leipzig. The movement would continue until the Berlin Wall came down.


The DEFA Studio for Documentary Films was reluctant to grant permission to film the demonstrations. In fall 1989, they gave in and allowed Gerd Kroske and Andreas Voigt to film the Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig. It had become clear, Kroske said, that “the mantle of history” could not be ignored.



2009 Retrospective Wende Flicks: The Last Films from East Germany
1990 Forum, Berlin International Film Festival
1989 Special Golden Dove, Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animation Films


Buy the DVDStream
DVD Bonus Features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • Written Interview with Gerd Kroske and Andreas Voigt
  • Chronicle of the Monday Demonstrations
  • “The Eye Swims on the Canale Grande,” an essay by Eduard Schreiber
  • Eastern Landscape (Germany, Dir. Eduard Schreiber, 1991, 13, doc.)

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