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The DEFA Film Library's (East) German Film Collection

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132 Videos in DEFA Film Library

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The Murderers are Among Us - Die Mörder sind unter uns
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
In 1945, after three years in a concentration camp, the artist Susanne Wallner (Hildegard Knef) returns to a Berlin in ruins. Shot in the rubble of Berlin just a year after WWII, The Murderers Are among Us was the first…
Coming Out
Although he has a girlfriend who is expecting his child, Philipp, a young teacher in Berlin, meets Matthias and falls in love. After years of repressing his homosexuality, he must finally accept himself for who he truly is. The first…
Our Short Life - Unser Kurzes Leben
The fun-loving, 26-year-old architect Franziska Linkerhand works for a famous professor. Yet, she feels restrained by her dependence on him and longs to take risks. When her marriage falls apart, she moves to a small town for a fresh start.…
Her Third - Der Dritte
After having two children with two different men, a newly single and liberated Margit discovers herself. Her entertaining amorous pursuit of a colleague is a testament to the evolving independence of East German women in the early 1970s. Starring Jutta…
3 videos
The Bicycle - Das Fahrrad
Susanne is a young, single mother who lives a somewhat alternative, unstructured lifestyle. After quitting her job, she finds herself in trouble financially and attempts a minor insurance fraud to make ends meet. Despite its rare view of everyday socialism…
2 videos
The Red Orchestra - Inside a Nazi Resistance Party
The Red Orchestra was a resistance group that fought against Nazi power within Germany from 1933 to 1942. The Gestapo labeled them as communists and traitors for their efforts to put an end to Hitler's reign -- a theory that…
Solo Sunny
This smash hit, which captures the East German "70's style" in its gritty-glitzy visuals and its catchy soundtrack, is ranked by film critics among the 100 Most Significant German Films of all time. Sunny (Renate Krossner, Go for Zucker ),…
2 videos
The Legend of Paul and Paula - Die Legende von Paul und Paula
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
Author Ulrich Plenzdorf and director Heiner Carow winningly portray everyday life in East Berlin in a passionate, but star-crossed love story. Featuring the music of the East German cult rock band, The Pudhys, the film proved so popular that official…
Berlin - Schönhauser Corner - Berlin - Ecke Schönhauser
They are East Berlin teenagers. They want to be free - to dance to rock'n'roll, trade forbidden western goods and get away from the constraints of their parents and the state. This classic 1950's teen cult film became a box-office…
Seven Freckles - Sieben Sommersprossen
Caroline and Robert knew each other from when they were children. Years later, they meet again at summer camp and fall in love. But being alone together is made difficult by the rigorous daily routine at the camp. In addition,…
Herzsprung - Herzsprung
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
In the little town of Herzsprung almost nothing has changed since German unification - except a rise in unemployment. Johanna, a young mother and widow, becomes one of the unemployed and lives on welfare. To make matters worse, her husband…
The Kaiser's Lackey - Der Untertan
This historical satire, based on Heinrich Mann's world-famous novel, Der Untertan , is ranked by film critics among the 100 Most Significant German Films of all time. In Mann's biting critique of conservative Wilhelmine Germany, written during WWI, Diederich Hessling…
2 videos
I Was Nineteen - Ich war neunzehn
Gregor is a young soldier entering Germany with the victorious Soviet troops at the end of WWII. But he is also the child of left-wing Germans who fled from Hitler and spent the war in the Soviet Union. As a…
3 videos
Hot Summer - Heisser Sommer
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
For summer vacation, two groups of high school students hitchhike to the Baltic Sea, where fun and trouble mix to create ties of friendship and love. After DEFA made a number of "pessimistic" films for teenagers, this musical was a…
Somewhere in Berlin - Irgendwo in Berlin
After WWII, Berlin lies in ruins. For Gustav, Willi and their friends the rubble provides an adventurous, dangerous playground. For Gustav it also helps pass the time, as he longs for his father's return from a POW camp. One day…
Rotation
The story of an apolitical working-class family that nevertheless gets drawn into collusion with Nazi policies. Rotation was awarded the Golden Leopard at the 1954 Locarno Film Festival and is ranked by film critics as one of Germany's 100 Most…
5 videos
The Axe of Wandsbek - Das Beil von Wandsbek
Hamburg, Germany 1934: An executioner is needed. Teetjen (Erwin Geschonneck) makes the biggest mistake of his life. Because his butcher shop is facing bankruptcy, he agrees to execute a group of political prisoners for the Nazis. Once this becomes known,…
2 videos
The Architects - Die Architekten
Filmed as the GDR crumbled, this somber, finely drawn portrait of life in East Berlin depicts a young architect whose life and goals are strangled by communist dogma represented by the older generation. One of the first fiction films to…
3 videos
Trace of Stones - Spur der Steine
Foreman Balla is the self-proclaimed king of a massive construction site. His co-workers stick close to him, like musketeers, as long as he makes sure they are paid. But things stop running smoothly when materials get scarce and two newcomers…
2 videos
Jacob the Liar - Jakob der Lügner
In his bittersweet comedy loaded with human quirks and nuance, Jacob invents news reports to bolster the spirits of the other Jews living in his Polish ghetto under Nazi occupation. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in…
2 videos