Film Archive

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DEFA Matinee
Östliche Landschaft Eduard Schreiber

Why words if symbolic image elements speak for themselves? The short film shows how numerous East Germans get rid of their lived history after the reunification.

Östliche Landschaft

Documentary Film
Germany
1991
13 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Eduard Schreiber
Thomas Klemm
Sebastian Richter
Ingeborg Marszalek
Rolf Richter
Henner Golz
Why words if symbolic image elements speak for themselves? The short film shows how numerous East Germans get rid of their lived history after the reunification. Contemporary history crystallises on an East Berlin garbage dump: a location of “historic” relics from the socialist age that people no longer need for the dawning era, objects that have lost their utility value after the end of a state.

The almost unreal filmic form overlays what is shown like a disturbing filter, like the narrative of a failed dream. There is still – or perhaps, from a distance, again – space for poetry in this landscape of disillusionment.

Nicolas Rossi

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
The Time is now – Jetzt ist die Zeit Eduard Schreiber

For DEFA this work was labelled a “peace film”. The wealth of ideas and formal awareness in this film essay, a novelty in the DEFA school of documentary film, requires an active audience.

The Time is now – Jetzt ist die Zeit

Documentary Film
GDR
1987
94 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Eduard Schreiber
Eckard Rödger, Hannes Zerbe
Wolfgang Dietzel
Viktoria Dietrich
Rolf Richter, Eduard Schreiber
For DEFA this work was labelled a “peace film”. The wealth of ideas and formal awareness in this film essay, a novelty in the DEFA school of documentary film, requires an active audience. The overwhelming abundance and condensation of the material, the associative character that extends even into the soundtrack delay the process of cognition – artfully and meaningfully.

In 1988, Schreiber’s co-writer Rolf Richter commented in a text written for the 18th International Forum of Young Cinema: “(…) Sometimes one has to pause, concentrate and think, listen closely to one’s feelings and find an expression for those feelings that is not hackneyed: images which do not evade our complicated times or cloud them in a colourful mist (…).”

Nicolas Rossi

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Zone M Eduard Schreiber

Molyobka – a village in the Urals. Seemingly inexplicable phenomena are observed here. The 465 inhabitants fight for bare survival and take refuge in superstition and charlatanry.

Zone M

Documentary Film
Germany
2000
100 minutes
subtitles: 
VO_German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
à jour Film- & Fernsehproduktion, Saale Film
Eduard Schreiber
Ulrich Hahnel
Vladimir Ponomaryov, Rainer Schulz
Ingeborg Marszalek, Monika Schindler, Eduard Schreiber
Regine Kühn, Eduard Schreiber
Hermann Beyer, Tamara Trampe, Christoph Engel
M stands for Molyobka or for the bends of the Sylva River which form an M in this area. Molyobka is a village in the middle of the Urals, on the border to Asia. This is where the M Zone is situated, a highly anomalous zone where seemingly inexplicable phenomena are observed. The 465 inhabitants, whose life collapsed completely after the end of the Soviet Union, are facing a hopeless future. And those who fight for bare survival will take refuge in madness, superstition or charlatanry.

Nicolas Rossi

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Der Elefant von Hoyerswerda Christian Lehmann

In his diploma film, Christian Lehmann follows a construction project in Hoyerswerda, where a residential quarter is built for the employees of the “Schwarze Pumpe” gas state combine.

Der Elefant von Hoyerswerda

Documentary Film
GDR
1959
15 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Deutsche Hochschule für Filmkunst (DHF), Potsdam-Babelsberg
Christian Lehmann
Christian Lehmann
In his diploma film, Christian Lehmann follows a construction project in Hoyerswerda, where a residential quarter is built for the employees of the “Schwarze Pumpe” gas state combine. We see buildings being assembled and facades scaffolded; we watch crane operators, bricklayers and carpenters on the site in summer. Lehmann, who had studied photography at the Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts before he began to study cinematography, comes up with impressive visual compositions. Influenced by the Soviet cinema of the period of Khrushchev’s Thaw, especially the works of Sergey Urusevsky, he also develops a dynamic and sensual style of camera-work.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Imbiß Thomas Heise

In 1954, the “Automat Imbiss” opened on Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. Featuring slots from which you picked the dishes after inserting coins, it conformed to the notions of modernity and future of the time.

Imbiß

Documentary Film
GDR
1978
5 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF), Potsdam-Babelsberg
Thomas Heise
Dagmar Mundt
In 1954, the “Automat Imbiss” opened on Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. Featuring slots from which you picked the dishes after inserting coins, it conformed to the notions of modernity and future of the time. Twenty years later, when Thomas Heise shoots his film, the Imbiss has long since lost its model character. Heise documents the daily routine in a matter-of-fact style: preparing mince meat, drawing drinks, collecting dirty dishes. Women from the East Berlin lower classes work here, endlessly repeating the same tasks and having cigarette and beer breaks.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Montagebrüder Gerd Wille

The film documents the living conditions of assemblers at the “Nordlicht” natural gas pipeline, one of the mega-projects of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon).

Montagebrüder

Documentary Film
GDR
1973
23 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF), Potsdam-Babelsberg
Gerd Wille
Lutz Körner
Gudrun Seelig
The film documents the living conditions of assemblers at the “Nordlicht” natural gas pipeline, one of the mega-projects of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon). Many East Germans worked on its construction, lured by good pay and hopes of a less strictly regulated life. What Gerd Wille and his cinematographer Lutz Körner find, however, are bad supply and sanitary conditions, lack of leisure facilities and general discontent. Because the film did not comply with the official image of the worker it was never approved and disappeared in the archive until 1990.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Susis Schicht Petra Tschörtner

For her first student film, Petra Tschörtner went to a factory of the VEB (Publicly Owned Corporation) Combine Secondary Raw Material Collection (SERO), which was part of the East German waste industry.

Susis Schicht

Documentary Film
GDR
1978
7 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF), Potsdam-Babelsberg
Petra Tschörtner
For her first student film, Petra Tschörtner went to a factory of the VEB (Publicly Owned Corporation) Combine Secondary Raw Material Collection (SERO), which was part of the East German waste industry. A consistent observation, the film follows a young worker through her shift, shows mountains of used paper (especially the “Neues Deutschland” daily every member of the SED had to subscribe to) being handled and shredded. You see workers, many of them women, performing simple and strenuous tasks and suspect that they belong to the lower margins of GDR society. A sensitive camera registers details of facial expressions and postures, revealing how here, too, women are subject to a hierarchy.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Trompete, Glocke, letzte Briefe Peter Kahane

In Peter Kahane’s documentary “red” Berlin comes alive as a proletarian family story reaching from the 1910s to the resistance against National Socialism.

Trompete, Glocke, letzte Briefe

Documentary Film
GDR
1978
20 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF), Potsdam-Babelsberg; Fernsehen der DDR
Peter Kahane
Hansjoachim Sommer
Helga Wardeck
Peter Kahane
In Peter Kahane’s documentary “red” Berlin comes alive as a proletarian family story reaching from the 1910s to the resistance against National Socialism. The siblings of the communist Ernst Knaack, who was executed in 1944, talk about their grandparents’ pub, which was frequented by leading members of the Communist Party of Germany like August Bebel and Hermann Duncker. The film doesn’t glorify its interviewees but seeks them out in their everyday environment and lets them speak about the few surviving souvenirs from that time – the trumpet of the Rotfrontkämpferbund (Alliance of Red Front-Fighters), the bell with which meetings were opened, and their brother Ernst’s last letters from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Wolters Trude Gabriele Denecke

Gabriele Denecke portrays a 74-year-old woman who lives a humble life in a village in Brandenburg and tells her story.

Wolters Trude

Documentary Film
GDR
1978
28 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF), Potsdam-Babelsberg; Fernsehen der DDR
Gabriele Denecke
Eberhard Geick
Karin Geiß
Gabriele Denecke
Gabriele Denecke portrays a 74-year-old woman who lives a humble life in a village in Brandenburg and tells her story: born in Rastenburg, East Prussia, in 1904, she grew up in an orphanage after her mother died, married early, had eight children, six of whom survived. Documenting a woman’s fate, the film is both oral history and women’s history. It also plays with the possibilities of the medium, combining the interviews with dreamlike re-enactments that visualise what couldn’t come true because of social or gender conditions.

Ilka Brombach

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Freundschaft und Frieden Karl Gass, Bruno Kleberg

In October 1951 Wilhelm Pieck travelled to Czechoslovakia. This short documentary is a kind of public relations account of the journey.

Freundschaft und Frieden

Documentary Film
GDR
1951
11 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Wochenschau und Dokumentarfilme
Karl Gass, Bruno Kleberg
Heinz Peer Czygan, Erich Nitzschmann
Traute Wischnewski
In October 1951 a government delegation of the still young GDR, headed by its first and only President, Wilhelm Pieck, travelled to Czechoslovakia. The short documentary “Friendship and Peace”, directed by Karl Gass and Bruno Kleberg, another pioneer of DEFA documentary film, is a kind of public relations account of this journey. The film is Karl Gass’s second work as a director after he had co-operated with Andrew Thorndike on “The Ascending Path”.

Fabian Tietke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Nationalität: deutsch Karl Gass

The school chronicle of a village school teacher from the Altmark – almost four decades of contemporary history and the history of mentalities in Germany.

Nationalität: deutsch

Documentary Film
GDR
1990
88 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Karl Gass
Wolfgang Schoor
Andreas Bergmann, Peter Milinski
Evelyn Kuhnert
Karl Gass, Klaus Wischnewski
Karl Gass based his last film on the school chronicle of a village school teacher from the Altmark. World War I brought Albert Linnecke, born 1889, died 1954, to Rindtorf as a substitute teacher. His chronicles record school trips as well as political events and the economic ups and downs in times of war and peace – almost four decades of contemporary history and the history of mentalities in Germany, seen through the eyes of a man who never failed to adjust to changing political systems.

Fabian Tietke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Die Welt horcht auf Max Jaap

A propaganda film by Max Jaap and Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler (“Defamation Ede”) that evokes the conquest of earth, nature, the atom and space by man – socialist man, of course.

Die Welt horcht auf

Documentary Film
GDR
1957
19 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Wochenschau und Dokumentarfilme
Max Jaap
Rolf Kuhl
Max Jaap, Herbert Kern, Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler
A propaganda film by Max Jaap and Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler (“Defamation Ede”) that evokes the conquest of earth, nature, the atom and space by man – socialist man, of course. While Western Europe and America despair over collapsing test rockets (“Why can’t we do this?”), the socialist engineers master the most complicated technologies – up to a living room sized electronic brain that thinks for them …

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Reportage aus Rossendorf Klaus Alde

The first nuclear reactor of the GDR is being constructed near Dresden, which takes the country – as roving reporter Karl Gass proudly announces – into “a new age”.

Reportage aus Rossendorf

Documentary Film
GDR
1958
29 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Wochenschau und Dokumentarfilme
Klaus Alde
Paul Dessau
Kurt Stanke
Klaus Alde
The first nuclear reactor of the GDR is being constructed near Dresden, which takes the country – as roving reporter Karl Gass proudly announces – into “a new age”. The film offers observations of the construction site, explanations of the technical background and, accompanied by Paul Dessau’s remarkable music, a whole range of science fiction instruments: dosimeter, manipulators, isotopes and a cyclotron, not to mention the “nuclear waste bins” presented as totally safe. In a rapid showdown, huge switches and levers are set in motion and the first lights start to glow …

---Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Sensation des Jahrhunderts Otto Sacher

This satire, which was a huge success at the time, is based on the then popular joke of the American space rocket that sets out for the moon (“The moon will be American!”) only to find a Soviet radio station there.

GDR

GDR
1959

Sensation des Jahrhunderts

Animated Film
GDR
1959
14 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Trickfilme
Otto Sacher
Günter Hörig
Walter Eckhold, Hans Schöne
Wera Cleve
Otto Sacher
Wolfgang Roeder
This satire, which was a huge success at the time, is based on the then popular joke of the American space rocket that sets out for the moon (“The moon will be American!”) only to find a Soviet radio station there. Despite the political background – the Cold War race for the moon – the film’s rapid pace, cartoon-like characters and timeless modernity make it appealing even today.

Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Unternehmen Proxima Centauri Jörg d'Bomba

The head of a group of “Young Technicians” tells of an expedition to a neighbouring star system where an international crew is to study the planet A4. They discover a growth hormone whose use on earth promises massive harvests.

GDR

GDR
1962

Unternehmen Proxima Centauri

Animated Film
GDR
1962
20 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Trickfilme
Jörg d'Bomba
Hans Sandig
Rudolf Dellan
Gerti Gruner
Klaus Piontek
The head of a group of “Young Technicians” tells of an expedition to a neighbouring star system where an international crew is to study the planet A4. They discover a growth hormone whose use on earth promises massive harvests.

Decades before the celebrated Mars probe that transmitted pictures from space in 2015, this science fiction puppet animation describes the deployment of the “Proximat” which can take measurements and record images in unknown territory.

Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

DEFA Matinee
Der Stoff zum Leben Thomas Kuschel

This portrait of a 26-year-old brigade leader at the Premnitz synthetic fibre works is accompanied by a poem by Volker Braun and was meant to follow the strategy of later DEFA films to use sympathetic comrades to promote new ways of thinking ...

Der Stoff zum Leben

Documentary Film
GDR
1989
23 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Gruppe Effekt
Thomas Kuschel
Peter Milinski
Heinz Baumert, Petra Barthel, Harald Apitz, Carsten Gebhardt, Andreas Walter, Dietmar Nickel, René Schmal
Volker Braun
This portrait of a 26-year-old brigade leader at the Premnitz synthetic fibre works is accompanied by a poem by Volker Braun and was meant to follow the strategy of later DEFA films to use sympathetic comrades to promote new ways of thinking. Precisely 30 years after the launch of the GDR chemistry programme, however, it shows dirt and noise rather than optimism and faith in progress. Broken bones and ruined lungs are mentioned, as well as the “damned chemicals”, lack of housing and playgrounds. The conclusion: “If we go on like this, we won’t get far.” This was to come true not long after the end of shooting. A view of the twilight days of the GDR.

Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.