Were the Earth Not Round

(Wäre die Erde nicht rund)

GDR, 1981, 89 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)


Christiane arrives at a Moscow hospital to see her little daughter. While she waits for the child to recuperate, she reflects on her life. Remembering her childhood in East Germany, she thinks about her grandfather and his obsession with building a perpetual motion machine. She also revisits her past five years as a geology student in Moscow, where she fell in love with Hatem, from Syria, her fellow student and father of her child—and the fact that there is no place in the world they can go and be together.


This poetic, semi-autobiographical drama by one of East Germany’s few female directors—who studied with Mikhail Romm at VGIK, the Russian Institute for Cinematography—explores the strength and limits of will and desire.

Press comments

“The film is wonderfully directed, with absolutely intelligent dialogs! […] This film is prescient, as this type of conflict will become increasingly common with increasing globalization.” —Helke Sander, director


“A feminist and internationalist film with philosophical ambitions.” —Heinz Kersten, film critic, So viele Träume


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DVD Bonus Features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Subtitles on/off 

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