Yell Once a Week

(Einmal in der Woche schrein)

GDR, 1982/1989, 14 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Music (Performance)
Production Company


This short film follows East Berlin teenagers, from hanging out on the streets to a dance party. It was banned before its release, in part because the lyrics of the title song, played by the East German rock group Pankow, call for self-determination and freedom. The film was finally released in 1989.



2019 DocLisboa, Portugal
2007 San Francisco MoMA, USA
2005 Restrospective Rebels with a Cause: The Cinema of East Germany, MoMA, New York, USA


Press comments

"The rock music in this film was very political, a slap in the face of the communist system. Young people went to both the disco and the barricades. For this reason, this honest, unvarnished and rough film was banned for over six years." —Ralf Schenk, film historian


“The film documents the teenage perspective.”  —SFMoMA


“The song sung by the popular rock band Pankow in this sensitive depiction of teenagers in Prenzlauer Berg sufficed to prompt official suspicion, especially because the lyrics contain further emotive phrases such as ‘Losing all fear one day’ or ‘Always kept on a leash’. A black dog that happened to cross the cameraman’s path—to be seen in the first sequence—is, in all seriousness, supposed to have been smuggled into the film as an anarchic symbol.”   —Heinz Kersten, Frankfurter Rundschau, 1990


“A film by progressive filmmakers about the everyday life of children and teenagers in Prenzlauer Berg, focusing with relentless candor on crumbling facades. It is upbeat when the camera shows children’s playgrounds among a sea of houses, a park bench, green patches behind and in front of a house. It was shot in 1982 and banned because of its critical scenes. It was not released until eight years later.”   —Berliner Zeitung, 1990



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