Facing the Past—German Documentaries
  • Eternal Beauty
  • The Fairy Tale of the Little Fish
  • The Unknown Soldier
  • Winter’s Children

  • B
  • Do Communists Have Better Sex?
  • Black Box Germany
  • My Life as a Terrorist
  • The Rebel
  • The Wall

  • C
  • Last to Know
  • I Love You All
  • The Kick
  • Locked Up Time
  • Screenplay: The Times
  • Sweep It Up, Swig It Down
  • Program C   Traces of East Germany

    Now that almost twenty years have passed since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the former East Germany is even becoming an object of nostalgic retrospection. Here we present films that confront one more past that the reunified Germany is faced with: the various issues left behind by the former East Germany. We see the negative legacy left behind by a state surveillance system centered around the Stasi of the Ministry for State Security. The economic gap that spreads out between the citizens of former East and former West Germany is still unresolved today. In this program we retrace the tracks of the former East Germany from a post-reunification viewpoint, including relevant films screened at earlier editions of the YIDFF.

    - Last to Know

    Jeder schweigt von etwas anderem

    GERMANY / 2006 / German / Color / Video / 72 min / Subtitled in English

    Directors: Marc Bauder, Dörte Franke
    Photography: Börres Weiffenbach
    Editing: Rune Schweitzer
    Sound: Mario Köhler, Marc von Stürler
    Producer: Marc Bauder
    Production Company, Source: Bauderfilm

    This film follows three cases of people (and their families) being imprisoned for anti-establishment activities in East Germany and exiled to West Germany. The memories that each of them holds remain as a past that can’t be shared even with other members of the family. The film shows their struggle of wanting to speak up in public, but not being able to start telling the story.

    - Marc Bauder

    Born in 1974 in Stuttgart, Marc Bauder founded the production company Bauderfilm in 1999. He has directed and produced several films with Dörte Franke, including Grow or Go (2003) and The Communist (2006).

    - Dörte Franke

    Born in 1974 in Leipzig, Dörte Franke emigrated from East Germany to West Germany in 1981. She has also worked as a novelist and journalist.

    - I Love You All

    Aus Liebe zum Volk

    GERMANY, FRANCE / 2004 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:1.66) / 88 min / Subtitled in English

    Directors: Eyal Sivan, Audrey Maurion
    Script: Eyal Sivan, Audrey Maurion, Aurélie Tyszblat
    Photography: Peter Badel
    Editing: Audrey Maurion
    Sound: Werner Phillipp
    Producers: Gilles-Marie Tiné, Thomas Kufus
    Production Company, Source: zero film
    World Sales: Telepool

    Co-directed by Eyal Sivan, who directed The Specialist (1999), and Audrey Maurion, who did the editing for that film, this documentary depicts the testimony of a man who blindly continued working for the Stasi in the Ministry for State Security for twenty years. Mainly using archive footage shot by Stasi surveillance cameras, it shows the reality of the surveillance system.

    - Eyal Sivan

    Born in 1964 in Haifa, Eyal Sivan grew up in Jerusalem. In 1985, he left Israel for France. His works include Izkor, The Slaves of Memory (1991), Jerusalem, Borderline Syndrome (1994), Aqabat-Jaber: Peace with No Return? (1995), and Au sommet de la descente (2001). Route 181—Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2003), which he codirected with Michel Khleifi, won the Mayor’s Prize at YIDFF 2005.

    - Audrey Maurion

    Born in 1966, Audrey Maurion studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has worked as a film editor for a number of fiction films and documentaries.

    - The Kick

    Der Kick

    GERMANY / 2005 / German / Color / Video (Original: 35mm) / 82 min / Subtitled in Japanese

    Director: Andres Veiel
    Script: Andres Veiel, Gesine Schmidt
    Photography: Jörg Jeshel, Henning Brümmer
    Editing: Katja Dringenberg
    Sound: Titus Maderlechner
    Cast: Susanne-Marie Wrage, Markus Lerch
    Producer: Brigitte Kramer
    Production Company: Nachtaktivfilm
    World Sales: Deckert Distribution
    Source: Goethe-Institut

    In 2002, in a small town north of Berlin, a 16-year-old boy was brutally murdered by three other boys. Andres Veiel, director of Black Box Germany, reviews this case in an experimental way. Using records of the trial and interviews of people involved with the incident, he restructures the testimony, having two actors play all of the roles of the various people involved.

    Andres Veiel

    Andres Veiel is also the director of Black Box Germany, in Program B of “Facing the Past.”

    - Locked Up Time

    Verriegelte Zeit

    GERMANY / 1990 / German / B&W / 35mm (1:1.33) / 90 min / Subtitled in Japanese

    Director: Sibylle Schönemann
    Photography: Thomas Plenert
    Editing: Gudrun Steinbruck
    Sound: Ronald Gohlke
    Music: Thomas Kahane
    Producers: Bernd Burkhardt, Alfred Hurmer
    Production Company: Alert Film

    Sibylle Schönemann was a film director for the DEFA studio in East Germany. In 1984, she and her husband were arrested by the East German security police, put in detention, and exiled to West Germany. After the reunification, Schönemann visits police officers, lawyers, officials, and others involved in her case, and questions the legitimacy of her arrest. Winner of the Mayor’s Prize at YIDFF ’91.

    - Sibylle Schönemann

    Born in 1953 in Berlin, Sibylle Schönemann worked as an assistant director of feature films at the DEFA studio. After her deportation to West Germany, she worked as a playwright in Hamburg.

    -Screenplay: The Times—Three Decades with the Children of Golzow and the DEFA Documentary Film Studio

    Drehbuch: Die Zeiten—Drei Jahrzehnte mit den Kindern von Golzow und der DEFA

    GERMANY / 1993 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:1.33) / 284 min / Subtitled in Japanese

    Directors, Script: Barbara & Winfried Junge
    Photography: Hans-Eberhard Leupold, Harald Klix, and others
    Editing: Barbara Junge
    Sound: Hans-Jochen Huschenbett, Eberhard Schwarz, Erhard Dormeyer, Peter Pflughaupt, Patric Stanislawski, and others
    Music: Gerhard Rosenfeld
    Producer: Klaus Volkenborn
    Production Company: JOURNAL-FILM

    In 1961, right after the Berlin Wall was constructed, production began on a documentary film on children living in the East German town of Golzow. It follows their lives as they enter school, graduate, find employment, and marry, through the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This film depicts the history of Germany through these children, and at the same time it can also be seen as a visual history of DEFA, the biggest film studio of the former East Germany. Winner of the Runner-up Prize and the Citizens’ Prize at YIDFF ’95.

    - Winfried Junge

    Born in 1935 in Berlin, Winfried Junge has directed films about the children in Golzow since 1961. His latest work, And If They Haven’t Passed Away . . . The Children of Golzow (2006), will be the last in the historic series.

    - Barbara Junge

    Born in 1943, Barbara Junge entered DEFA in 1969. As a co-director, she has edited all of Winfried Junge’s films since 1983.

    - Sweep It Up, Swig It Down

    Kehrein, Kehraus

    GERMANY / 1997 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:166) / 70 min / Subtitled in English and Japanese

    Director: Gerd Kroske
    Script: Gerd Kroske, Manuela Martinson
    Photography: Dieter Chill
    Editing: Karin Gerda Schöning
    Music: Todenhöfer
    Sound: Uve Haußig
    Production Company: realistfilm

    In Sweeping (1990), director Gerd Kroske depicted three street sweepers in the former East German city of Leipzig. This film shows what has happened to these three since then. Interwoven with scenes of construction sites and street sweeping in the mechanized present-day Leipzig, it depicts how each of them copes with the harsh city life and the problems it holds. Winner of the Runner-up Prize at YIDFF ’99.

    - Gerd Kroske

    Born in 1958 in Dessau, Gerd Kroske began working as a screenwriter for the DEFA Documentary Film Studio in Berlin in 1987. His major works include Sweeping (1990), Galera (1996–97) and Sweep It Up, Again (2006).