Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Exkursion Thierbach

Documentary Film
GDR
1974
23 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Bezirksfilmstudio Leipzig
In socialist realism art was not meant to be an end in itself. It was expected to refer to the production of goods and the state of quota fulfilment. Invited by the SED district authorities and the council of the district of Leipzig, a group of Leipzig artists visited the newly-built brown coal power plant Thierbach in 1974, presented as the result of a “socialist economic integration” directed by Soviet specialists. The Leipzig Bezirksfilmstudio (district film studio), originally “Technisches Zentrum Amateurfilm” (technical amateur film centre) followed 40 painters, musicians, writers and “theatre makers”, including Wolfgang Mattheuer, Helmut Richter and Karl Kayser.

Stefan Gööck

Frühe Fragmente: Funktionäre an der Basis

Documentary Film
GDR
1957
5 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Two silent, black and white pieces of film material, preserved in (standard) 8mm format and screened in a version edited by the Saxon State Archive. On 9 August 1957 Walter Ulbricht, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany), welcomes Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, at the GDR agricultural fair in Markkleeberg near Leipzig. Around 1960 Otto Grotewohl, Prime Minister of the GDR, speaks to employees of the VEB (Publicly Owned Corporation) Steinkohlewerk (hard coal mine) “August Bebel” in Zwickau. In the following decade the miners were to be retrained and hard coal mining in the GDR closed down because the deposits were exhausted.

Stefan Gööck

Gäste aus dem Kosmos

Documentary Film
GDR
1977
8 minutes
subtitles: 
No
For many GDR citizens, the initial dominance of the USSR in the space race was a source of genuine enthusiasm for progress. However, circumstances were reversed when the US astronauts were the first to land on the moon in 1969. When Soviet cosmonauts toured the GDR yet again in 1977, the propaganda centred on East German space technology. Part of the visitors’ schedule in Leipzig was a visit to the ISKRA memorial in Russenstraße which commemorated the printing of Lenin’s first revolutionary newspaper. The 35mm film was obviously a secondary exploitation, professionally edited from various dupe negatives and with an added soundtrack. No positive is preserved.

Stefan Gööck

Leipzig 1990 – Der Handelsplatz

Documentary Film
GDR
1990
8 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Produktionsgruppe Video
The Berlin Wall has fallen, last elections to the People’s Chamber; the currency union and the Unification Treaty are still to come. The 1990 Leipzig spring fair took place at a time of critical junctures for Leipzig, Saxony and Germany. This location sound film features atmospheric images, documents conflicting political and economic expectations, hope and discouragement. In this DEFA video businessmen from the East and West speak up, but also a female pensioner whose neighbourhood is falling into ruin. Hans Modrow, who as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the GDR had submitted the concept of “For Germany, our united fatherland”, takes a tour of the fair, accompanied by Johannes Rau, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Stefan Gööck
Matinee Sächsisches Staatsarchiv 2017
Wir begrüßen unsere Gäste zum Erntefest in der Kooperation Laas

Agriculture in the small town of Laas in the district of Oschatz was held up as an outstanding example in 1987 to spur less successful cooperatives and state-owned farms to higher performances.

Wir begrüßen unsere Gäste zum Erntefest in der Kooperation Laas

Documentary Film
GDR
1987
20 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

AGRA-Filmstudio
Agriculture in the small town of Laas in the district of Oschatz was held up as an outstanding example in 1987 to spur less successful cooperatives and state-owned farms to higher performances. The “University in the greens”, as the GDR agricultural fair AGRA in Leipzig-Markkleeberg styled itself, often followed this pattern to sell modern production methods, scientific findings and the latest agricultural technology to the farmers. This 35mm film, however, revolves around the master narrative of socialist agriculture. Amateur actors in the parade act out the liberation of concentration camp inmates by Soviet soldiers in 1945.

Stefan Gööck