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 B  Reconsidering the Postwar History of East and
    West Germany

    After the defeat in the war, Germany was divided and ruled by the Allied Powers, and in 1949 it was split into East and West. Until it was reunited again, it served as the front line of the Cold War in Europe. But what was this period really about, these forty-plus years of head-on confrontation with the reality of the cold war even while bearing the burden of Nazi Germany’s past? Here we will reconsider the postwar history of East and West Germany by way of films that take up various incidents and phenomena, such as the relation between economic systems and sex, anti-establishment movements and their radicalization, the emergence of neo-Nazis, and the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

    Do Communists Have Better Sex?—Sex in Divided Germany

    Liebte der Osten anders?—Sex im geteilten Deutschland

    - GERMANY / 2006 / German, English / Color, B&W / Video / 52 min / Subtitled in English

    Director, Script: André Meier
    Photography: André Böhm
    Editing: Thomas Kleinwächter
    Sound: Mario Krauß
    Producer: Heino Deckert
    Production Company, Source: ma.ja.de filmproduktion
    World Sales: Deckert Distribution

    -- This is a unique attempt at comparing the history of East and West Germany from the viewpoint of sex. What to make of the statistical evidence that East German women have been leading a richer sex life? What influence did the Cold-War social system have on sex? A funny erotic history woven together using comical animation and archive images.

    - André Meier

    Born in 1961 in Berlin, André Meier studied art history at Humboldt University in Berlin. He has worked as a director and a writer for television, newspapers, radio, and theater since 1992.

    -- Black Box Germany

    Black Box BRD

    GERMANY / 2001 / German / Color, B&W / 16mm (Original: 35mm) / 102 min / Subtitled in Japanese

    Director, Script: Andres Veiel
    Photography: Jörg Jeshel
    Editing: Katja Dringenberg
    Sound: Paul Oberle
    Producer: Thomas Kufus
    Production Company: zero film
    World Sales: Telepool
    Source: Goethe-Institut

    Herrhausen, a big shot in a German bank, was murdered in 1989. Grams, a member of the German Red Army Faction, was accused of being the one who killed him. The tragic fates of two people cross each other in an incident that symbolizes the political conflict of the seventies and eighties. The lives of these two contrasting figures are reconstructed through the words of their families, friends, and colleagues.

    - Andres Veiel

    Born in 1959 in Stuttgart, Andres Veiel has written screenplays, films, and plays since 1988. He has taught at various film colleges and universities. This film won the European Documentary Award 2001–Prix Arte at the European Film Awards. His major works include Balagan (1993) and Addicted to Acting (2004), screened at the Osaka European Film Festival. His latest work is The Kick (2005), also included in this program.

    My Life as a Terrorist: The Story of Hans-Joachim Klein

    Ein deutscher Terrorist: Die Geschichte des Hans-Joachim Klein

    - THE NETHERLANDS / 2005 / German / Color / Video / 70 min / Subtitled in English

    Director: Alexander Oey
    Photography: Jackó van ’t Hof
    Editing: Chris van Oers
    Sound: Benny Jansen
    Producers: Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix, Christian Beetz
    Production Company, Source: Submarine, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
    World Sales: Films Transit International

    - Hans-Joachim Klein, a former terrorist who also appears in the International Competition film Protagonist, looks back on his life until now. After participating in the raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in 1975, he cut his ties with terrorist organizations and lived in hiding for many years until his arrest in 1998. Showing his devotion to and then frustration with armed struggle, this film is a depiction of a man still in conflict with his own past.

    - Alexander Oey

    Born in 1960 in Amsterdam, Alexander Oey has directed numerous documentaries, mainly for Dutch television, including Jeff Wall (1999), Bijlmer, the Rough Guide (2003), and Euro-Islam According to Tariq Ramadan (2005).

    The Rebel: An Untold Story of European Terrorism

    Der Rebell: Neonazi, Terrorist, Aussteiger

    - GERMANY / 2005 / German / Color, B&W / Video / 94 min

    Director: Jan Peter
    Script: Jan Peter, Yury Winterberg
    Photography: Michael Baum
    Producer: Friederike Freier
    Production Company, Source: L.E. VISION

    Odfried Hepp became Germany’s most dangerous neo-Nazi, with a track record that started with activities in Beirut in the eighties and proceeded into involvement with the East German secret service. For the first time he talks frankly about neo-Nazism and himself. His testimony reveals an unknown aspect of postwar German history.

    - Jan Peter

    Born in Merseburg, Jan Peter founded the film and television production company L.E. VISION with other young independent filmmakers. He has directed numerous documentaries and docudramas. His works include Over the Rainbow (1999) and Mätressen—Die geheime Macht der Frauen (2005).

    - The Wall

    Die Mauer

    GERMANY / 1989-90 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:1.33) / 96 min / Subtitled in English

    Director, Script: Jürgen Böttcher
    Photography: Thomas Plenert
    Editing: Gudrun Steinbrück
    Sound: Ronald Gohlke
    Producer: Stephan Röder
    Production Company, Source: DEFA—Documentary Film Studio

    A film depicting the Berlin Wall right before its collapse. Foreign tourists, East German guards, boys chipping at the wall to sell the pieces, and various other people flocking to the wall are observed with images stripped of narration. The director uses the soon-to-be-destroyed wall as a projection screen, and in projecting archive images of the wall being erected, he records both the construction of the Berlin wall and its final hour.

    - Jürgen Böttcher

    A filmmaker and painter born in 1931 in Frankenberg, Jürgen Böttcher worked as a director in the DEFA Documentary Film Studio. With more than 30 films, he has attained cult status among cineastes. His works include Furnace Builders (1962), Born in 1945 (1965), and A Place in Berlin (2001).