A Beginning of the End of the GDR
The Biermann petitioners of DEFA and their films in East and West Germany
In the GDR, from the mid-1970s onwards, a series of films critically examined the social conditions in their country. They tell of interpersonal conflicts and personal problems that can be parabolically related to social grievances in the GDR. The works realised in the West by screenwriters, actors and directors from the GDR in turn reflect experiences of forced emigration, life in a capitalist foreign country and alienation from the homeland. The retrospective, produced in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Deutsche Kinemathek, takes a look at German-German film history in the run-up to and after Wolf Biermann's expatriation. It tells of the attempts of East German filmmakers such as Frank Beyer and Armin Mueller-Stahl to assert themselves and remain loyal in the face of repressive Politburo policies on both sides of the Wall.