Sonnensucher © DEFA-Stiftung, Herbert Kroiss
|Egel, Karl Georg|
Encouraged by the "thaw" promised by the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, in this film Konrad Wolf presents a highly dramatic and differentiated view of the Nazi past, Stalinist political practices and the energetic chaos of the early postwar period. The film's style combines Wolf's Russian sensibilities with echoes of Italian neo-realism and Pabst's Kameradschaft (1931). It impresses even today with its political complexity, variety of characters and realistic portrayal of daily work in a top secret zone of the industrial landscape.
Releasing this banned film became one of Wolf's first priorities when a new regime took over in the GDR in 1972. In 1989, the film was revived again along with other banned films, as part of DEFA's best – if thwarted – tradition.
"Sunseekers—a symbolic, key-note title of one of Konrad Wolf's early films. Symbolic in two respects. First, as regards the thousands of people streaming to the uranium mines in the Erz Mountains to make a new start. They were seeking sun for their own lives and the 'solar energy from the power of the atom'.. .the plot is history, a gripping copy of a tough new start almost impossible to accomplish. Nothing is white-washed, which is precisely why this film is valuable as an artistic reproduction of a historical process."
— Gerd Focke in the Halle Freiheit on Sept. 7, 1972