Snack Bar Special

(Imbiss Spezial)

GDR, 1990, 27 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles


October 1989: While thousands of East Germans have left the country for West Germany or taken to the streets to protest the political situation in the country, the official press ignores the upheaval and only covers the heroic successes represented in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the GDR.


This film tells the story of the country’s decline from the point of view of employees of the Berlin-Lichtenberg station snack bar. Between running back and forth to the kitchen and the bar, they talk about their personal experiences in East Germany. They share their resentments about their state and talk about deciding to retreat into their private lives. The camera also carefully captures travelers standing at the snack bar, such as young people who share in passing their prediction: “As of tomorrow the military will rule.” The film ends with colorful scenes of the 40th anniversary celebrations, which ignore the nation-wide calls for political change… and the brutal arrests of protesters behind the scenes.


2019 DocLisboa, Portugal
2019 DOK Leipzig, Germany


Press comments

“One of the most important Wende films.” —


“A snack bar in [East] Berlin, October 1989: The collapse of a country between selling hot dogs and radio propaganda.” —Florian Widegger, Filmarchiv Austria


“Thomas Heise is one of today’s most important documentary filmmakers.”   —Filmachiv Austria



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