Iris Gusner was born on January 16, 1941 in Trautenau, Germany (today Trutnov, Czech Republic). From 1960-1967, she trained in directing at the renowned VGIK film school in Moscow under Mikhail Romm. After a brief stint with East German television, in 1968 she moved to the DEFA Studio for Feature Films, where she started as assistant director to Konrad Wolf on his 1971 film Goya, oder der harte Weg der Erkenntnis (Goya, or the Hard Way of Enlightenment).


Her much-heralded debut film, Die Taube auf dem Dach, was banned for showing workers “in distress.” She finally achieved acclaim with her lively portrayal of women workers in Alle meine Mädchen, which became one of her most successful films. Her unique semi-autobiographical feature film, Wäre die Erde nicht rund, was followed by other films focusing on the role and emancipation of women in the GDR. Iris Gusner was one of very few women to succeed as a feature film director in East Germany.


In 2009, Gusner and (West) German filmmaker Helke Sander published a fascinating autobiographical volume entitled Fantasie und Arbeit: Biografische Zwiesprache (Fantasy and Work: A Biographical Dialog).

Festivals & Awards:

1980 Audience Jury Prize, GDR National Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt, for Alle meine Mädchen
1980 Art Prize of the Free German Trade Union Federation for Alle meine Mädchen

Bibliography & More:

Gusner, Iris and Helke Sander. Fantasie und Arbeit: Biografische Zwiesprache. Marburg: Schüren Verlag. 2009.




1993 Sommerliebe (Summer Love, TV)
1987 Ich liebe dich – April! April! (I Love You – Just Kidding!)
1983 Kaskade rückwärts
(Bailing Out)
1981 Wäre die Erde nicht rund (Were the Earth Not Round)
1979 Alle meine Mädchen (All My Girls)
1977 Einer muss die Leiche sein (Someone Must Be the Corpse)
1975 Das blaue Licht (The Blue Light)
1974 Was halten Sie von Leuten, die malen (What Do You Think of People Who Paint? TV, doc.)
1973/2010 Die Taube auf dem Dach (The Dove on the Roof)
1971 Goya, oder der harte Weg der Erkenntnis (Goya, or the Hard Way of Enlightenment, Asst. Dir.)

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