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

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131 Videos in DEFA Film Library

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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,…
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…
The Devil's Three Golden Hairs - Wer reisst denn gleich vor'm Teufel aus
In this classic German fairy tale by the brothers Grimm, poor Jacob must get the Devil's three golden hairs in order to save his own life and marry the beautiful princess. When the king hands Jacob his death sentence in…
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.…
A Berlin Romance - Eine Berliner Romanze
Mid-1950s Berlin, before the building of the Wall. Uschi, a salesgirl and aspiring fashion model from the East, is attracted to Hans, from the West. But she also loves the bright shop windows in his part of the city. The…
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
Island of Swans - Insel der Schwäne
When he is 14, Stefan's parents decide to move the family to Marzahn, a desolate high-rise suburb of Berlin that is still under construction. Stefan's innocent childhood suddenly ends when he encounters the bullying of an older boy and his…
Divided Heaven - Der geteilte Himmel
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
After a breakdown, Rita returns to her childhood village in 1961. As she recovers, she remembers the past two years: her love for the chemist Manfred, ten years her senior; how his enthusiasm about his new chemical process turned to…
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…
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 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…
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
Look at this City - Schaut Auf Diese Stadt
This fast-paced montage represents West Berlin as the frontline of neo-fascism, terrorism and neo-colonialism, against which the peaceful city of East Berlin requires an "antifascist defense." A strikingly modernist propaganda piece, it uses rare authentic images and newsreels from both…
Kuhle Wampe, or Who Owns the World? - Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt?
This Weimar era film classic uses an avant-garde, fragmented narrative to tell the story of a working-class family in Berlin in 1931. Survival is difficult, with massive unemployment in the wake of the Great Depression. After Anni's brother commits suicide…
Sun Seekers - Sonnensucher
A socialist story of "atoms for peace" and compulsory labor in an East German uranium mine under Soviet control. Banned at Soviet insistence, it impresses even today with its political complexity, variety of characters and realistic portrayal of daily work…
13 videos
The Silent Star - Der schweigende Stern
The first science-fiction film brought out in East Germany, The Silent Star is based on Stanislaw Lem's mysterious novel, The Astronauts (1951). In it, an international expedition is sent to Venus to decipher a message found in the Gobi desert…
3 videos
Snow White - Schneewittchen
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful and haughty queen who had a magic mirror. She would ask it, "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" And as long as the mirror answered, "You,…
Carla - Karla
When she discovers her students are hiding their true thoughts and feelings, Carla (Jutta Hoffmann), a young and idealistic teacher at the start of her career, goes against the routine opportunism, hypocritisy and small-mindedness all around her. Her superiors view…
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