for selected DEFA films

With the help of outside scholars and educators, the DEFA Film Library provides teaching guides for selected DEFA films. The goal is to help teachers in a variety of classroom settings use films that speak directly to issues that concern students and other young people today. For the selected films, Teaching Guides are available on our website and Kanopy's website, as well as appearing as a bonus feature on DVDs.


Our Teaching Guides are meant to give teachers information and ideas for how they can use a given film in an English-language classroom. The full-color PDF documents include:

  • Recommendations for teachers and others;
  • chapter breaks and plot summary;
  • the historical context of the production;
  • an essay about the film;
  • short biographies of the director / cast;
  • several pages of teaching activities and resources;
  • and a selected bibliography.

We are also developing a Guide to Teaching DEFA Films in German to help adapt our suggestions for use in German-language classrooms.


Already available are:

  • Coming Out (#1), by Kyle Frackman (UBC) and Sky Arndt-Briggs (UMass Amherst)
  • Our Children (#2), by Katrin Bahr (Centre College) and Mariana Ivanova (UMass Amherst)
  • Biology! (#3), by Victoria Rizo Lenshyn (Arizona State Univ.)
  • The Architects (#4), by Carol Anne Costabile-Heming (Univ. of North Texas) and Juliane Schicker (Carleton College)




PDF icon Teaching Guide #1 -Coming Out.pdf, PDF icon Teaching Guide # 2 - Our Children.pdf, PDF icon Teaching Guide #3 - Biology!.pdf, PDF icon Teaching Guide #4 - The Architects.pdf

Shibboleth login