Dr. Sommer II

(Dr. med. Sommer II)

GDR, 1970, 90 min, b&w
In German; no subtitles
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Production Company


The story of a young, idealistic doctor and his on-the-job training as a rookie surgeon. Dr. Heiner Sommer moves to a small town in the GDR where he will complete his training under the senior physician, also named Dr. Sommer.


Coming with high ideals, Sommer II wishes to establish more trust between the patients and hospital staff, and he is soon presented with the opportunity to demonstrate his plans:  he intervenes when he senses that the young nursing student Emmylie is in danger of being used as a cleaning lady. However, when Sommer II informs a patient that his condition is terminal, the patient commits suicide, and the doctor must rely on the experience of his colleagues to overcome this incident.


The solo directorial debut of Lothar Warneke (after his co-direction of Mit mir nicht, Madame!), and a key film launching DEFA’s “documentary fiction” school of the 1970s, which included Rainer Simon as well.  The film also displays Warneke’s typical existential concern with life and death, found in his other films like Apprehension or Bear Ye Another’s Burdens.


1971 Gold Medal, Warna Red Cross Film Festival
1971 Heinrich Greif Prize

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