Divided Heaven

(Der geteilte Himmel)

GDR, 1964, 109 min, B&W
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast

Synopsis

After a breakdown, Rita returns to her childhood village in 1961. As she recovers, she remembers the past two years: her love for the chemist Manfred, ten years her senior; how his enthusiasm about his new chemical process turned to bitter disappointment in the face of official rejection; how he escaped to West Berlin a few weeks before the Wall was built and hoped that she would follow him...

Commentary

Divided Heaven is based on Christa Wolf's internationally-renowned novel, which was criticized in the GDR for questioning the construction of the Wall. Produced during a brief cultural thaw in the early 1960s, this film was strongly influenced by the French Nouvelle Vague.

 

This East German classic is praised by critics as one of Germany's 100 Most Important Films.

Press comments

“Konrad Wolf’s DEFA classic is one of the most important filmic debates about the German-German division until this day.”
3sat TV

 

Divided Heaven clearly [reflects] the rich stylistic currents that characterized European filmmaking in the early ‘sixties.”
— Joshua Feinstein, The Triumph of the Ordinary

 

“Images of strict and restrained (black and white) beauty.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Availability

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