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

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136 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…
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
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 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
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,…
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…
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…
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
Time of the Storks - Zeit der Störche
Susanne and Wolfgang have a harmonious relationship. But when Susanne meets Christian, she is attracted to his restless energy, and they fall for each other. Although she decides to end the affair after spending an intense week together, the experience…
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
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
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
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…
The Blum Affair - Affaire Blum
In detective-story style based on a 1926 German court case, this film portrays conservative nationalism prior to Hitler's rule. Dr. Blum, a Jewish manufacturer, is falsely accused of a murder. Even when the real killer's identity becomes evident, the state…
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…
The Rabbit is Me - Das Kaninchen bin ich
The Rabbit Is Me was intended to encourage discussion of the democratization of East German society. A sardonic portrayal of the GDR's judicial system, the film was condemned as an anti-socialist, pessimistic and revisionist attack on the state. Its name…
4 videos
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…
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
The Winged Serpent: Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Life and Work of a German Renaissance Painter
The short documentary portrays the life and work of the important Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). It features a rich spectrum of his works in (former East) German collections, including the Old Masters Gallery in Dresden. As the…