The Brasch Family

(Familie Brasch)

Germany, 2018, 100 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Music (Score)
Themes & Genres:


Brasch—a legendary name that represents one of the most sensational German families. Director Annekatrin Hendel presents a portrait of three generations of the Brasch family as a microcosm of the social tensions that were raging on a large scale in European history: between East and West, art and politics, communism and religion, love and betrayal, and utopia and self-destruction.
In the late 1940s, the Brasch family is proud to live the dream of German socialism in the Soviet Occupation Zone. Horst Brasch—a Catholic convert of Jewish descent and passionate anti-fascist—is helping to build the East German state, even though his wife, Gerda, won’t consider it home. Their son Thomas is a budding literary star. Like his father, he dreams of a more just world; but like his younger brothers Peter and Klaus, he becomes critical of the way in which socialism is being implemented. In 1968, the generations clash in East Germany, as elsewhere. Horst turns Thomas over to the authorities, unwittingly triggering the end of his own career in the process. 
The film includes appearances by well-known East German contemporaries, including author Marion Brasch, actress Katharina Thalbach, author Christoph Hein, singer/songwriter Bettina Wegner, film producer Joachim von Vietinghof and writer and painter Florian Havemann.



2022 Brecht Festival, Augsburg, Germany
2018 Film Fest Munich, Germany


Press comments

“World spirit and resistance, orthodoxy and socialism: A documentary film about The Brasch Family paints a picture of one of the most important families in the GDR – and their inner turmoil.”  —Frankfurter Allgemeine


“Breaks in history. Annekatrin Hendel portrays not only the family, but an entire epoch.”  —Der Tagesspiegel


“This film is a temporal panorama that makes history come alive as family history. An epic about the decline of the "Red Aristocracy," the GDR version of the Buddenbrooks.”   — 


“The documentary presents German history as the history of a family.”  —Der Spiegel



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