Vienna, 1813-1819: Beethoven (played by Donatas Banionis) is at the peak of his fame. Orchestras all over the world play his music, but he lives modestly and is dependent upon private patrons.
Berlin in the 1960s. Olaf (Dieter Mann) and Horst (Kaspar Eichel) are two young metalworkers, who provoke their older colleagues with critiques of the antiquated equipment and lack of materials...
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.
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 hit and was greeted with suspicion by East German officials.
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.
Harmonika, an American deserter, is captured by a tribe of Indians, who believe he has murdered the wife and child of their chief Grey Elk. It is the chief himself who sets the American free, and Harmonika stays with the tribe and gradually wins their friendship.
Hans served his king faithfully as a soldier. But now, cheated out of his pay, he is returning home. A witch heals his wounds and demands in return that he fetches the blue light from the dried-up well.
Dr. Blum, a Jewish manufacturer, is falsely accused of a murder. Even when the real killer’s identity becomes evident, the state prosecutor refuses to accept Blum’s innocence.
This 13-DVD set is designed to accompany DEFA at the Crossroads of East German and International Film Culture (DeGruyter, 2014), edited by Marc Silberman (University of Wisconsin) and Henning Wrage (Gettysburg College).
This 12-DVD set is designed to accompany the book East German Cinema – DEFA and Film History, by Sebastian Heiduschke (Oregon State University), published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2013.