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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…
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.…
Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life - Käthe Kollwitz - Bilder eines Lebens
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
Kathe Kollwitz is 47-years-old, already a well-known artist in Germany and abroad. Peter, her youngest son, volunteers to join the German army in WWI and dies two weeks later. This painful tragedy changes Kollwitz' life and art forever. Always politically…
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 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,…
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…
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…
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 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
Elective Affinities - Die Wahlverwandtschaften
During the Napoleonic Wars, Baron Eduard and his wife Charlotte live an reclusive and idyllic life together in an old castle. Driven to boredom by isolation, Eduard invites his friend Captain Otto to come stay, and Charlotte decides to bring…
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…
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
Marriage in the Shadows - Ehe im Schatten
The first German feature film to explicitly address the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, Marriage in the Shadows called on Germans to accept collective responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. Stylistically, the production--in which many former Ufa…
2 videos
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…
Five Days, Five Nights - Fünf Tage, Fünf Nächte
May 8, 1945: WWII is over. Dresden is in ruins. But where are the 2200 paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens, Giorgione, Vermeer van Delft from the Old Masters Picture Gallery? Red Army Captain Leonov and his soldiers…
The Bicycle - Das Fahrrad
Susanne is a young, single mother who lives a somewhat alternative, unstructured lifestyle. After quitting her job, she finds herself in trouble financially and attempts a minor insurance fraud to make ends meet. Despite its rare view of everyday socialism…
2 videos
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
Next Year Lake Balaton - Und Nächstes Jahr am Balaton
Jonas and Ines are in love and want to spend their vacation together camping on the Baltic coast. But Ines's narrow-minded parents intervene and insist that the young couple joins the family vacation. Problems arise, so everyone ends up traveling…