62. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
Inhalt Navigation "Barrierefreie Angebote" switch to english language Umschalten auf deutsche Sprache get more informations about our accessibility offer

DEFA Matinee

DEFA Matinee: Eduard Schreiber – Chronicler and Film Essayist

EASTERN LANDSCAPE by Eduard Schreiber. Copyright: DEFA-Stiftung, Sebastian Richter
For taking an unusual, associative and experimental approach that offers multiple perspectives, Eduard Schreiber deserves a special spot among the ranks of DEFA documentary filmmakers.
Schreiber celebrated his 80th birthday this year, but for DOK Leipzig, this isn’t the only reason to screen a selection of his films in the context of the DEFA Matinee. The close ties between the filmmaker from the former East Germany and the festival is a further reason to recognize his artistic achievement and make it the centre of attention. Schreiber worked for DOK Leipzig in the 1970s, and time and again during the festival’s history, his films have been part of the programme.
His film THE TIME IS NOW (1987) is considered the first and only essay film to be made in the GDR. It is a film about peace. News of the stationing of medium-range nuclear missiles arrives at a time when a film team is conducting interviews throughout the GDR. We hear from a former concentration-camp inmate, a toxicologist tasked with removing munitions left over from the Third Reich, a Lutheran minister who gives seminars on peace, a stonemason who repairs walls damaged by gunfire in the Second World War, and a major general from the East German army. Songs by Etta Cameron and explanatory narration add to the interviews as well as provide a contrast to them. Paired with this cinematic essay in the DEFA Matinee programme is the short film EASTERN LANDSCAPE, in which Eduard Schreiber describes without words how many East Germans dissolved their ties to their past when the GDR itself was dissolved.
The second half of the double screening starts off with the short film DO YOU KNOW WHERE HERR KISCH IS? in which a fictitious character wanders through historic Prague. He is in search of Egon Erwin Kisch, a 20th-century antifascist author known for his travel reports and coverage of wartime and postwar topics.
Following this is a screening of the film ZONE M, about a village in the Ural Mountains that’s adjacent to a zone of anomalies where strange apparitions are observed. Some of the villagers believe the apparitions to be signs of extraterrestrial life, while others dismiss the idea as humbug. One thing is clear, though: in a society in which the collapse of the Soviet Union has made day-to-day life nearly impossible, this phenomenon is on everyone’s mind.

A collection of all of Eduard Schreiber’s DEFA motion pictures, compiled by Ralph Eue for DVD publishers absolut MEDIEN, will be released just in time for the festival in fall 2019.
Films and Tickets

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

Film list DEFA Matinee


All films in the 2019 DEFA Matinee >>


We will announce the schedule of all festival screenings with our complete film programme on 10 October. 


In cooperation with the DEFA Foundation.