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DEFA: East German Cinema 1946-1992

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East German Cinema 1946-1992

Edited by Seán Allan and John Sandford

354 pages, illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-943-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 1999)

ISBN  978-1-57181-753-2 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (August 1999)

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"... the lucid style of all contributions ... makes this volume an accessible read to students ... this volume has also the bonus of offering an excellent appendix on sources for future research ... this collection of essays illustrates precisely why the quality of DEFA film-making should not be confined to the archives of history."  · Journal of European Areas Studies

"A useful appendix provides research sources. Written in clear prose, these essays should interest undergraduates and generalists as well as scholars and faculty."  · Humanities


Western scholars have not lost any of their fascination for East German culture. Cinema in particular continues to attract interest. This volume, the first one in English, traces the development of the main institution, the state-sponsored Deutsche Film Anstalt (DEFA), which was primarily responsible for film production in the former GDR from 1946, ceasing to exist in 1992. Although largely ignored outside the former GDR, the DEFA produced anumber of excellent films and scriptwriters that are examined here for the first time. This volume analyzes the representation of fascism and anti-fascism in the cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, the conflicts between the state and the film-makers of the 1960s, and the social-political criticism in the 1970s and early 1980s. Other key issues that arise from this comprehensive look at DEFA include its representation of women, the concept of "Heimat," the reception of the classical heritage, and the relation of DEFA cinema to other European film traditions.The comprehensive bibliography and a list of research sources on East German cinema make this volume an indispensable tool for students and scholars of the media.

Seán Allan is senior Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Warwick. 

John Sandford is Professor of German Studies at the University of Reading.

Icestorm International - Distributors of DEFA films.
First Run Features
- Distributors of independent, foreign and documentary films including DEFA films.

Subject: Film and Television Studies History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations

Chapter 1. DEFA: An Historical Overview
Seán Allan

Chapter 2. DEFA and the Traditions of International Cinema
Barton Byg

Chapter 3. 'Letting the Genie out of the Bottle': DEFA Film-Makers and Film und Fernsehen
Rosemary Stott

Chapter 4. The Anti-Fascist Past in DEFA Films
Christiane Mückenberger

Chapter 5. Discussion with Kurt Maetzig
Martin Brady

Chapter 6. Rebels with a Cause: The Development of the 'Berlin-Filme' by Gerhard Klein and Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Horst Claus

Chapter 7. DEFA: A Personal View
Wolfgang Kohlhaase

Chapter 8. Representations of Work in the Forbidden DEFA Films of 1965
Karen Ruoff Kramer

Chapter 9. Censorship and the Law: The Case of Das Kaninchen bin ich (I am the Rabbit)
Stefan Soldovieri

Chapter 10. Paths of Discovery: The Films of Konrad Wolf
Anthony S. Coulson

Chapter 11. From Models to Misfits: Women in the DEFA Films of the 1970s and 1980s
Andrea Rinke

Chapter 12. The Concept of 'Heimat-DGR' in DEFA Feature Films
Harry Blunk

Chapter 13. The Re-evaluation of Goethe and the Classical Tradition in the Films of Egon Günther and Siegfried Kühn
Daniella Berghahn

Chapter 14. Idealism takes on the Establishment: Social Criticism in Roland Gräf's Film Adaptations of Märkische Forschungen (Exploring the Brandenburg Marches) and Der Tangospieler (The Tango Player)
Detlef Gwosc

Chapter 15. The Documentary Work of Jürgen Böttcher: A Retrospective
Richard Kilborn

Chapter 16. Documenting the Wende: The Films of Andreas Voigt
Helen Hughes

Notes on Contributors

Appendix: Research Sources for East German Cinema

Select Bibliography

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