DOK Leipzig 29. Oktober – 4. November 2018
61. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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DEFA Matinee

Defa Matinee: 
Six Babelsberg Freedoms

Wolters Trude. Directed by: Gabriele Denecke

At university, one is free, one can experiment without having to worry all that much about consequences. At the film school in Babelsberg, known today as the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the students had more latitude than elsewhere during the era of the German Democratic Republic. For this reason, this year’s DEFA Matinee will take a look at works from the film school in Babelsberg from the years 1957 to 1990. While the rest of the DEFA films of the era appear to be rather conformist and tightly controlled, the local film students were busy making films that revelled in experimentation and took their inspiration from Italian neorealism, the French Nouvelle Vague or other international currents. It is only a pity that the majority of these student film projects could never be presented to a wider audience. The special programme SIX BABELSBERG FREEDOMS now presents an illustrative cross-section of the films of this era. The featured works are early works by male and female filmmakers who would later go on to join the ranks of the most interesting directors in East German cinema, such as Thomas Heise, Peter Kahane or Petra Tschörtner, to name a few.


“Observations, portraits, surveys of contemporary witnesses to history – with their documentary works the students contributed to assembling a mosaic of the social history of the GDR,” comments the curator of the programme, Ilka Brombach. “The films draw attention to the ‘ordinary people’, the lived realities of the working and lower classes. They deal with female subjects and characters and relate to Germany’s past as audio-visual oral history.” All of the films featured in the programme were digitally restored at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in 2018 in the scope of preparations for the DVD release “Babelsberger Freiheiten: Filme der Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen ‘Konrad Wolf’ 1957–1990”. Aside from her work as director of the DFG research project on the student film archive of Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, curator Ilka Brombach is also the director of the festival “Moving History – Potsdam Festival of Historical Cinema”.


Films and Tickets

You can find the programme and buy tickets online in our Filmfinder.


In cooperation with the DEFA Foundation and the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF