Photo © Hiltrud Schulz
These events are kindly supported by:
- the DEFA Foundation,
- German Information Center USA,
- German Embassy,
- Max Kade Foundation,
- Konrad Wolf Film University Babelsberg,
- Third Generation Ost-USA.
At UMass Amherst:
- College of Humanities and Fine Arts;
- Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures;
- German and Scandinavian Studies (LLC); Department of History;
- Fine Arts Center;
- UMass Print Services.
In the Five Colleges:
- Smith College German Department;
- Amherst College Department of German;
- Hampshire College' Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies;
- Mount Holyoke Department of German Studies.
Finally, thanks to Emily's Amherst B&B and durchblickreisen Berlin.
All three screenings are part of a series of events at UMass Amherst entitled Wall Stories – 25 Years After, organized by the German and Scandinavian Studies program (LLC), the DEFA Film Library, and Third Generation Ost-USA.
Helke Misselwitz Presents!
University of Massachusetts Amherst
On the night of November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell, acclaimed German director Helke Misselwitz was screening her films at UMass Amherst. Twenty-five years later, she returned to commemorate the events with screenings of two of her own films and six short films made by her students at the Film University Babelsberg.
During her weeklong visit, Helke Misselwitz showed her award-winning documentary Winter Adé (GDR, 1988), which undermined East Germany's official image of women and challenged the claim that the country had achieved gender equality. She also screened her feature film debut, Herzsprung (Germany, 1992), a tragic love story set in eastern Germany after the fall of the Wall.
Barton Byg, founder of the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst, notes: "It is very special for me to be able to have Helke here again, exactly 25 years after we celebrated the fall of the Wall together with students at UMass."
For many years Misselwitz, a member of the German Academy of Arts, has also mentored young filmmakers as a professor at the Konrad Wolf Film University in Babelsberg. Misselwitz will present My '89, a film project that she and her students prepared to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in 2009. My '89 is an anthology of short films by six students, born in East Germany, West Germany, Sweden, Israel, Turkey and Czechoslovakia; the talented young directors, who were between five and ten years old when the Berlin Wall came down, reflect on the historic event through their childhood perspectives.
Misselwitz describes the film as "a remarkably diverse mosaic of more or less autobiographical, retrospective and unsparingly frank children's perspectives on a year that also changed the directors' lives: sorrowful, captivating and comical."
This special screening celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Konrad Wolf Film University Babelsberg; several of the short films were subtitled in English by UMass students in the German language program at Thatcher Residence Hall.