Events

The Cold War and Divided Germany in East German Cinematography

November 19, 2010 // 4:00pm6:30pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
History and Public Policy Program

The Cold War and Divided Germany in East German Cinematography offers viewers a glimpse of some of the Cold War-era movies produced in former East Germany. The series features five movies released between the years 1950 and 1972, as well as one post-1989 production.

Sun Seekers was banned in 1958 at the urging of the USSR, since it treats Soviet/German relations in mining uranium in the GDR's Wismut region, to support the nuclear arms race. Encouraged by the "thaw" promised by the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Konrad Wolf's film presents a highly dramatic and differentiated view of the Nazi past, Stalinist political practices, and the energetic chaos of the early postwar period. The film's style combines Wolf's Russian sensibilities with echoes of Italian neo-realism as well as Pabst's Kameradschaft (1931). Releasing this film was one of Wolf's first priorities when a new regime took power in the GDR in 1972, and in 1989 the film was revived along with the banned films of 1965 as part of DEFA's best - if thwarted - tradition.

The movie will be introduced by independent cultural historian Paul Werner Wagner. Joining the post-screening discussion will be Robert Gerald Livingston, German Historical Institute, Peter Rollberg, professor of Film Studies at The George Washington University.

The event is hosted by the Wilson Center in cooperation with: The DEFA Foundation, Berlin; DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Goethe-Institut, Washington, DC; German Historical Institute, Washington, DC; Heinrich Böll Foundation, Washington, DC; and The George Washington University.

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