Individual East German Films

Figure 5.--This is an East German (DDR) police officer with a boy dressed in a youth auxillery uniform. The police officer and uniformed boy are trying to convince the other boy to join the youth auxillery.

We do not yet have much information on East German films. We have Some information on a few individual East German films. Hopefully German readers will ne able to tell us more. They provide a great deal of information about contemprary children's fashions in East Germany. HBC knows little about the East German film industry. There does not appear to have been any films that proved a commercial success in the West. We are mot entirely sure to what extent they were shown in the West.
Benno macht Geschalten (East Germany, 19??)

HBC has no information on this DDR film. Images suggest that the movie was made in the 1970s as the boys wear short cut short pants. "T"-shirts are also widely worn.

Jana and Jan (Germany, 1992)

This is another interesting film set in East Germany. We might classify this as an Eastv German film. East Germany, of course, no longer existed. This film was, however, made in East Germany, we think with many East German personnel and actors. Of course the East German censorship was gone so political issues could be addressed honestly. The film is about a teenage couple who fall in love and face an uncertain life in the new Germany just after the Berlin wall has come down. The film is extremely grim and pessimistic. The plot is quite simple. Jan, a boy in the GDR in the fall of 1989. has just been arrested for attempting to escape to West Germany. He is incarcerated in a grim institution for juvenile delinquants where he is humilitated and forced to do menial work. He is a very alienated teenager. Jana, only slightly older, engages in a wager with other girls of the institution that she can't seduce the newcomer, and she succeeds. But what began as a sexual game turns into genuine love and the two lovers run away from the juvenile detention facility, fleeing on a stolen motorcycle.

(The) Land Beyond the Rainbow (Germany, 1991)

This film might be classified as an East German film, even thouh it was released just as East Germany was disappearing. It was mase at the DEFA studio with DEFA employees. The film makers involved begun to think about the ideas which are expressed in the film in 1986 while the Stasi still monitored DEFA films. So the film can be seen as the end of the East German film industry. This is an interesting German film released (1991). Germany at the time was undegoing the process of reunification (1989-91). The title is "The Land Beyond the Rainbow" ("Das Land hinter dem Regenbogen"). It was written and directed by Herwig Kipping in 1991 and is much admired in film circles as a harsh but at the same time beautiful attack on the Communist regime in East Germany during the year 1953, the height of the Stalinist repression. The film is highly symbolic and in many places surrealistic. It concerns a fictional small town called Stalina that theoretically worships Stalin and the collectivist economy in occupied Germany that the Russian dictator tried to enforce

Philipp der Kleine (East Germany, 197?)

I do not have a lot of information on this film. Iy is a German film, but few other details are avialble. HBC's German film consultant believes that it is probably East German probably shot in the mid-1970s. The film is called Philipp der Kleine. Philipp the Small. It is about a kid who's small for his age, and this really bugs him. He ends up with a magic flute and every time he plays it things around him get bigger (including his cat which turns into a lion cub and goes to school with him!) Some scenes demonstrate that even kids walking past in the background are wearing the same style of clothes as the kids in the flim. Some of the images are a bit fuzzy, but there's an awful lot of long patterned and stripey socks in this film and they're wearinig them.

Trompeton--Anton (East Germany, 197?)

HBC believes this translates as Anton the Trumpeter. This film is similar to many films that hat were produced in Germany and other Eastern European countries during the 1970s and 80s. This particular film is from East Germany. It's about a boy who has a magic trumpet. The neighbours can't stand the noise when he plays and he wanders all over the place trying to find somewhere to practice, upsetting everyone in the vicinty and causing strange things to happen. There's one scene in the film where the boy wears jeans. In the rest of the film he and his friends appear in a variety of styles of short pants. Ledehosen crop up a couple of times, but may not be recognisable as such because they are so short, at was common across Europe in the 1970s and early 80s.

Unknown film (East Germany, 195?)

The NAZIs made numerous prpaganda films during World War II. The East Germans, especially in the 1940s and early 1950s made numerous prpaganda films that could have easily been made by the NAZIs. Onhe differencem however, was a noteable absence of racial themes in the East Herman films. This unknown film encouraged German children to report strangers in case they were spies. It showed these children saving the day by reporting a couple of strangers that turned out to be British spies. Many of the children wear white shirts with their Pioneer scarves. While a reader submitted this as a NAZI-era film. HBC has since identified it as a East German movie. This film encouraged German children to report strangers in case they were spies. It showed these children saving the day by reporting a couple of strangers that turned out to be British parachutists.

Unknown film (East Germany, 195?)

This film extoled the virtues of joining youth organisations. The Free German Youth are shown in their short pants uniform at a Party Congress rally. Another boy receives an award at a formal ceremony. Other boys are shown in a kind of police auxillery uniform. I'm not sure if this was part of the Pioneer uniform or a separate group.


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Created: April 29, 2004
Last updated: 8:38 PM 5/31/2010