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

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146 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…
The Fiancée - Die Verlobte
Germany, 1934: Hella Lindau and her fiance Hermann Reimers are members of an anti-Nazi resistance group. When they are betrayed, Hella takes the blame and is sentenced to ten years in prison for high treason. Though Hermann is not allowed…
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
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. THE ARCHITECTS was one of the first…
3 videos
The Naked Man on the Sports Field - Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz
Kemmel is almost 40. Although little throws the good-natured sculptor off, he is torn... between wanting to address his generation's memories of the Holocaust, and disappointment that many people don't understand his works--despite official programs to bring art to the…
Isabel on the Stairs
Twelve-year-old Isabel and her mother, who was a famous political singer, had to escape Chile after the 1973 military coup. Isabel's father stayed behind fighting in the underground. For six years, they have lived in a new apartment building in…
Trace of Stones - Spur der Steine
Based on Erik Neutsch's novel of the same title, TRACE OF STONES is a complex political drama blended with an at times comic triangular love story. Foreman Balla is the self-proclaimed king of a massive construction site. His co-workers stick…
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…
Midnight Revue - Revue um Mitternacht
Famous producer Otto Kruse brags that he will produce a successful, new kind of revue film. When the project is close to failing, he orders his stage manager to "do what it takes." Soon his young female assistant finds herself…
Dusk - 1950s East Berlin Bohemia
Berlin in the 1950s: divided, but not yet walled. Young artists, at the start of their careers and seeking a new lifestyle, frequented the East Berlin cafes and bars that were meeting places for intellectuals, as well as Cold War…
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…
Sabine Kleist, Age 7 - Sabine Kleist, 7 Jahre
Since her parents died in a car accident, Sabine has lived in an orphanage. When Edith--her beloved caretaker and the only adult she trusts--leaves to have a baby, Sabine runs away. Like Alice in Wonderland, the spunky little girl wanders…
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…
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
All My Girls - Alle meine Mädchen
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
Despite his lack of enthusiasm, film student Ralf is assigned to make a documentary about a team of six women workers at a light bulb factory in Berlin. At first, the team seems to work and get along together without…
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…
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
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…
Goya - Goya oder der arge Weg der Erkenntnis
As a painter in the court of King Carlos IV of Spain, Goya has attained wealth and reputation. He believes in king and church, but he is also a Spaniard who dearly loves his people - a contradiction that presents…
3 videos