GDR, 1990, 89 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Assistant Director
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Music (Performance)
Special Effects
Production Company


In a small East German town shortly before the fall of the Wall, Ulla, a sensitive and principled 10th-grader, meets computer-obsessed Winfried, son of a chemical plant manager. On a field trip with her biology class, Ulla discovers that a trout farm and weekend homes are being built illegally in a local conservation area. The situation gets complicated when she discovers that Winfried’s family is responsible.


Ulla nevertheless passionately agitates to stop the construction project, even soliciting Winfried to help her create a touched-up photograph of a rare bird as "evidence" that the conservation area is home to an endangered species. When Ulla's deception is discovered, she faces serious consequences.


Biology! was one of very few East German feature films to address environmental issues. The topic was taboo in the GDR, which made all data on environmental damages classified. In the 1980s, grassroot activists nevertheless began vigorous environmental movement.


1990 East Berlin National Film Festival


Press comments

“A story that severely critiques injustice, opportunism and moral cowardice.”   —


“A film about the difficulty of finding one’s identity in the midst of a deteriorating ideological system.”   —Potsdam Film Museum


“A portrait of the ailing social system of the GDR that balances between satirical and unintended exaggeration.”   —


“The film was not influenced by changing events, but [now] meets a completely changed reality.”   —Ina Lemme, Für Dich, 1990


“An eco-drama critiquing the GDR.”   —Neues Deutschland


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