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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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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 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…
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…
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
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
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 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
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,…
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…
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
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…
Held for Questioning - Der Aufenthalt
Based on Hermann Kant's autobiographical novel, the acclaimed film HELD FOR QUESTIONING raises existential questions about crime and punishment, as well as obedience and responsibility. In the fall of 1945, a few months after the end of WWII, 19-year-old German…
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,…
Verdict on Auschwitz - The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial
The only documentary on the Auschwitz Trial held in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, from 1963 to 1965. Based on 430 hours of original audiotapes, this production is an unparellel document of the first Auschwitz Trial. In one of the…
3 videos
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
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…
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 Russians Are Coming - Die Russen Kommen
Originally banned by Communist Authorities, Heiner Carow's semi-autobiographical film was not approved for final production. Officials argued it focused on an ordinary Nazi follower, rather than an antifascist hero, and that it was "contaminated with modernism." The film, which includes…
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