whisper & SHOUT

(flüstern & SCHREIEN)

GDR, 1988, 115 min, Color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Production Company

Synopsis

This film documents important parts of the East German rock music scene of the late 1980s, from well-established bands like Silly to underground rock bands like Feeling B. It includes clips from concerts and interviews with fans and members of André + Die Firma, Chicorée, Die Zöllner, Feeling B, Sandow, Silly and This Pop Generation. It features young people using music to express their take on life, opposition to their parents' generation, and opinions on the political and social climate in East Germany. Rammstein fans will be particularly interested in interviews with Feeling B's Christian Lorenz and Paul Landers.

 

whisper & SHOUT, shot in 35mm, played to over one million viewers in sold-out theaters in East Germany. Audiences were drawn not only to see their favorite bands on the screen; they were also surprised that this film made it past the censors.

 

Part of the series WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany.

Commentary

whisper & SHOUT  –  Featured Bands

 

FEELING B

MEMBERS:

  • Alexander Kriening (drums)
  • Paul Landers (electric guitar)
  • Christian “Flake” Lorenz (keyboards)
  • Aljoscha Rompe (lead vocals, died 2000)
  • Christoph “Doom” Schneider (drums, 1990-1993)
  • Christoph Zimmermann (bass guitar)

 

DISCOGRAPHY

  • Hea Hoa Hoa Hea Hea Hoa (1989)
  • Wir kriegen euch alle (1991, We’ll Get You All)
  • Die Maske des Roten Todes (1993, The Mask of the Red Death)
  • grün & blau (2007, green & blue)

 

Feeling B was formed in 1983 in East Berlin by bandleader Aljoscha Rompe. Rompe had dual citizenship, as his mother was married to a Swiss; this allowed him to travel outside East Germany, where he could buy equipment for the band. Because of his special citizenship status and his punk music, from 1972 to1989 Rompe was under the surveillance of the Stasi (secret police). During the Wende period, Rompe was part of the East German citizens’ movement’s Round Table, working in the “Security” group that helped dissolve the Stasi in 1990.

 

Feeling B was one of the first and most popular underground punk bands in East Germany, with concerts that featured improvisational music. Feeling B disbanded at the end of the 1990s, although on special occasions the band members still got together for individual concerts at punk festivals until Rompe died in November 2000 of an asthma attack.

 

Schneider, Landers and Lorenz found fame and fortune with the heavy metal band Rammstein. When Lorenz found old Feeling B material that had never been released, he brought it out on the grün & blau album.

 

 

SILLY

MEMBERS IN THE FILM:

  • Ritchie Barton (keyboards, 1982-present)
  • Tamara Danz (vocals, 1978-1996; died 1996)
  • Thomas Fritzsching (guitar, 1978–1994)
  • Uwe Hassbecker (guitar, violin, 1986-present)
  • Herbert Junck (drums, 1984-2005; died 2005)
  • Jäcki Reznicek (bass guitar, 1986-present)

EARLIER MEMBERS: 

  • Manfred Kusno (keyboards, 1978–1981)
  • Ulrich Mann (keyboards, 1978–1981)
  • Michael Schafmeier (drums, 1978–1984)
  • Mathias Schramm (bass, 1978–1986; died 2007)

MEMBERS SINCE 2005:

  • Uwe Hassbecker (guitar, violin, 1986-present) 
  • Ritchie Barton (keyboards, 1982-present)
  • Jäcki Reznicek (bass guitar, 1986-present)
  • Daniel Hassbecker (keyboards, cello, 2005-present)
  • Anna Loos (vocals, 2005-present)
  • Reinhard Petereit (guitar, 2005-present)
  • Basti Reznicek (drums, 2005-present)

 

SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY:

  • Silly (1980)
  • Mont Klamott (1983, Rubbish Mountain)
  • Liebeswalzer (1985, Love Waltz)
  • Bataillon d’Amour (1986, Battalion of Love)
  • Februar (1989, February)
  • Hurensöhne (1993, Sons of Whores)
  • Paradies (1996, Paradise)
  • Silly – Die Original Alben (2006, The Original Albums)
  • Silly & Gäste (2005, Silly & Guests)

 

Silly, one of the most popular East German rock bands, was founded in 1978. Their first album, entitled “Silly,” was actually released in West Germany before the East German record label Amiga released it in the GDR. Silly worked with a West German label later as well; their last East-West German co-production, “Februar,” was first released in the West.

 

During the last days of the GDR, Tamara Danz – known as “the German Tina Turner” – was one of the first to sign the “Petition of Rock Musicians and Songwriters” in 1989. She used her popularity to call on the East German government to grant permission for concerts by oppositional bands. She read the petition in her own concerts as well, which was illegal. Silly also performed as part of the “Concert against Violence,” which was held to protest police and Stasi violence and the arrest of hundreds of young people during the October 7, 1989 demonstrations.

 

After the Wall came down, the band's West German label believed Silly could become big throughout Germany. But when the label provided them with chart-friendly music and lyrics by outside writers, Silly decided to produce their next album themselves.

 

Danz’s death from cancer in July 1996 caused an almost 10-year break for the band. In October 2005, Barton, Hasselbecker and Reznicek – joined by their sons and Reinhard Petereit – went on tour again with the “Silly & Guests” project. Singer and actor Anna Loos joined Silly in December 2005.

 

For more information: www.sillyhome.de

 

Tamara (Germany, Dir. Peter Kahane, 2006, doc.)

 

 

CHICORÉE and DIE ZÖLLNER

CHICORÉE MEMBERS:

  • Frank Brennecke (bass guitar)
  • Andre Kunze (keyboards)
  • Garret Matzko (guitar)
  • Achim Schulze (drums)
  • Dirk Zöllner (vocals)

 

SINGLES on the compilation album Amiga Kleeblatt No. 19 (1987):

  • “Käfer auf’m Blatt” (“Beetle on a Leaf”) 
  • “Was du von mir verlangst” (“What You Want from Me”)
  • “Halt die Zeit für mich an” (“Stop Time for Me”)
  • “Es tut mir Leid” (“I’m Sorry”) 

 

Chicorée was a short-lived (1984 -1987) East Berlin funk-rock band that played almost exclusively its own material. Due to difficulties in securing a recording contract, their fan base grew around live performances.

 

After the band dissolved, Dirk Zöllner founded the band Die Zöllner, together with André Gensicke. They opened for James Brown in 1988 and, two days after the Wall fell in 1989, participated in the historic “Concert for Berlin.” Die Zöllner released 6 CDs: Die Zöllner (1) (1990), Café Grössenwahn (1991, Megalomania Café), Goldene Zeiten (1993, Golden Times), Bumm Bumm (1996) and Goodbye, Chérie (1997).

 

Dirk Zöllner founded his own label, ZuG-Records, in 2000-01 and has continued to perform, both as a soloist and with a wide range of other musicians; since 2006, he has sung the lead in German productions of the rock-musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

 

For more information: www.dirk-zoellner.de

 

 

SANDOW

CURRENT MEMBERS: 

  • Tilman Fürstenau (cello, bass)
  • Chris Hinze (guitar)
  • Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt (vocals, guitar, lyrics)
  • Lars Neugebauer (drums)

 

DISCOGRAPHY:

  • Stationen einer Sucht (1990, Stations of an Addiction)
  • Der 13. Ton (1990, The 13th Note)
  • Kän Guru (1991)
  • Fatalia! (1992)
  • Schluß mit dem Gottesgericht (1994, End of the Ordeal)
  • Anschlag (1995, Assault)
  • Zone (1996)
  • BORN (1997)
  • Stachelhaut (1998, Prickly Skin)
  • Kiong – Gefährten der Liebe (2007, Kiong – Love’s Companions)
  • Sandow Live (2008, DVD)

 

Sandow was founded in 1982 in Cottbus, East Germany, and named after a part of the city. Their experimental music was part of the alternative subculture in East Germany. Featured in whisper & SHOUT is lead vocalist Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt.

 

After German unification, Sandow’s ironic single, “Born in the GDR,” became controversial when fans misinterpreted it as nostalgia for East Germany (Ostalgie). After many successful tours and CD releases, the group fell apart in 1999 but, in 2005, the four current band members announced a new start for the band. Their 2007-08 tour was a spectacular success.

 

For more information: www.sandow.de

 

 

ANDRÉ + DIE FIRMA and FREYGANG

In 1983, Freygang, a rock and blues band founded in 1977, was banned. In response, Tantjana Besson (Freygang’s manager) and André Greiner-Pol founded the anarcho rock band Die Firma in Berlin. Despite being banned, Freygang gave concerts under different names and musicians moved between the bands. Although Greiner-Pol was under surveillance because of his radical and rebellious lyrics, at each concert he played a couple of songs with Die Firma. When Freygang was permitted to play again (starting in 1985, for one year), both bands shared the stage. In summer 1988, Freygang went on an open air concert tour.

 

After the Wall came down, Greiner-Pol and the Freygang musicians founded the music clubs “Eimer” and “Tacheles,” and organized protests against the Gulf War. In June 1990, Die Firma, Freygang and Ich-Funktionen made a live recording, entitled “Die letzten Tage von Pompeji” and continued playing concerts together. In 1993, Tatjana Besson and Gerry Franke (guitar) joined Freygang. Since then, Freygang has released many CDs and played numerous concerts, including at the Berliner Ensemble. Things have been on hold since André Greiner-Pol died in December 2008.

 

For more information: www.freygangband.de

 

 

THIS POP GENERATION

MEMBERS:

  • Katrin Schröder
  • Steve Binetti
  • Martin Leeder

 

DISCOGRAPHY:

  • pop generation (1987)

 

The members of bands in the rock scene changed constantly and constellations of musicians were sometimes only momentary. One of these “bands for a moment” was the project called This Pop Generation.

 

 

MORE SOURCES:

www.ostbeat.de

 

www.ostmusik.de

 

Wir wollen immer artig sein…; Punk, New Wave, HipHop, Independent-Szene in der DDR 1980-1990. Edited by Ronald Galenza & Heinz Havemeister. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag, 1999.

 

 

Awards

1989 Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival
1988 Official Selection, Leipzig Documentary and Animation Film Festival

Press comments

“A rare East German documentary of the rock music scene.”
The New York Times

 

“Authentic and colorful images of GDR youth culture on the eve of the Wende.”
TV Spielfilm

Availability

Special features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Director's Biography & Filmography
  • Information about the Featured Bands

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