Location Hunting


GDR, 1990, 111 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design


Filmmaker Rüdiger Stein wants to produce his first meaningful documentary. By chance, he meets Klaus and Manuela, two young teenagers who grew up in difficult social circumstances. They are expecting a child and plan to move in together. It’s a perfect, socially-important topic for Rüdiger’s first film. But Manuela changes her mind and the project threatens to fall apart. Rüdiger feels obliged to intervene so he can save his film, but it seems everything he touches goes out of control.


Released in 1990, this is one of the last DEFA films.


1991 Recent Films from Germany, MoMA, New York
1990 Official Selection, San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain
1990 Promotional award, Max Ophüls Festival, Saarbrücken
1990 Findling Award of the Film Club Jury, GDR Feature Film Festival, Berlin
1990 Award of the Filmkommunikation e.V. Association

Press comments

“In Motivsuche, Dietmar Hochmuth exposed the manipulations behind documentary practices celebrated during DEFA times as the quintessence of socialist ethics and aesthetics.”   —Sabine Hake, German National Cinema


“In the last months of SED control, Dietmar Hochmuth made an intelligent as well as entertaining tragicomedy about filmmaking, about making art, in general, and about the eternal question of how much documentary filmmakers may influence, consciously or unconsciously, the subject of the film. Besides the clash between milieu of the intelligentsia and the (sub-)proletariat, the film also unobtrusively thematizes how threatened the comfortable existence of the middle class is.”   —Brotfabrik-Berlin.de


Motivsuche impresses us with sure-fire irony, evident in many well-thought-out scenic details and side stories, and especially in the work of its actors.”   —Birgit Galle, Neues Deutschland


 “Like many other DEFA feature film directors, Dietmar Hochmuth, born in 1954, was not able to properly continue his career after German unification. Not least from the film Motivsuche can we glean what a loss this was for German cinema.”   —Jan Gympel, berlin-film-katalog.de


“Dieter Hochmuth wrote his own script. It is full of hidden wit and humor, a kind of intellectual exhibitionism as well as understatement—things not commonly found. Characters are sketched by means of language, which endows the film with authenticity, managing, however, a shift to the level where art takes place.”   —Hendryk Goldberg, Filmspiegel



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