Unification & Wende

These films were produced in the midst of radical upheaval in East Germany—from increased demands for freedom in the late 1980s, the “peaceful revolution” and fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, followed by German unification and the ultimate closing of the East German DEFA Studios. While certain films revisit flashpoints of East Bloc history—such as the unrest following Stalin’s death in 1953 or the Prague Spring of 1968—others assess GDR society, even as it was slipping away. Yet others depict the spirit of transformation that existed during and after the fall of the Wall—often resorting to humor or satire to capture the sometime surreal aspects of radical social change.

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