Dusk: 1950s East Berlin Bohemia

(Dämmerung – Ostberliner Boheme der 50er Jahre)

Germany, 1992, 93 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Editor
Camera
Sound
Cast
Producer
Production Company

Synopsis

Berlin in the 1950s: divided, but not yet walled. Young artists, at the start of their careers and seeking a new lifestyle, frequented the East Berlin cafés and bars that were meeting places for intellectuals, as well as Cold War secret service agents and black marketeers.

 

Former East Berlin bohemians gather at Ganymed, the legendary restaurant near Bertolt Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble. In the early 1990s, soon after the fall of the Wall, they recall the atmosphere of their city in the 1950s… which changed so abruptly when the Wall went up in 1961. They relate defining encounters with key players of the East Berlin art scene, especially theater reformer Bertolt Brecht. Director Peter Voigt—Brecht’s youngest assistant and himself part of the 1950s art scene—uses interviews, archival materials and atmospheric images of the period in this multi-layered film essay.

Awards

2018 Opening film of the NEH Summer Institute Culture in the Cold War: East German Art, Music and Film; DEFA Film Library, Amherst, USA
2013 Hommage Peter Voigt, International Documentary and Animation Film Festival in Leipzig, Germany

Press comments

“Through clever montage and surprising, barbed insertions, the film itself becomes an autonomous piece of art.”

Claus Löser, film historian

 

“An artistically outstanding documentary about individual and collective memory.”

berlin-film-katalog.de

Availability

DVD Bonus Features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • People Who Appear in the Film
  • The Favorite (Germany, 2005, dir. Alexandra Czok, 45’)
  • “Spaces between Beginning and End,” by film historian Claus Löser
  • “Bohemia and Socialism,” by journalist Jutta Voigt 
  • “Brecht’s Berlin Revisited,” by theater director Carl Weber

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