Our Short Life

(Unser kurzes Leben)

GDR, 1980, 109 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Assistant Director
Script
Scenario
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Make-up
Music (Score)
Sound
Cast
Producer
Production Company

Synopsis

The fun-loving, 26-year-old architect Franziska Linkerhand (Simone Frost) works for a famous professor. Yet, she feels restrained by her dependence on him and longs to take risks. When her marriage falls apart, she moves to a small town for a fresh start. Franziska approaches her new life with vigor and idealism. Many of her colleagues have given in to the dictates of economic restrictions and prefabricated apartment blocks; but Franziska hangs onto her ideals and, as in her private life, is not willing to compromise…

Commentary

Brigitte Reimann’s bestselling semi-autobiographical novel, Franziska Linkerhand, became a cult hit in both East and West Germany. Readers were fascinated with the radical, emancipated, sensitive protagonist who passionately rebels against social assumptions and contradictions.

Awards

1982 Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Helmut Straßburger), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt
1982 Best Editor (Erika Lehmphul), GDR National Feature Film Festival, Karl-Marx-Stadt
1981 Art Prize of the Free German Trade Union Federation (Regine Kühn, Christa Müller, Claus Neumann, Lothar Warneke)
1981 Special Prize of the Soviet Association of Visual Arts, Moscow International Feature Film Festival

Availability

Special features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • Our Short Life: Building and Dwelling in Late Socialism,” by Hunter Bivens, Univ. of California Santa Cruz
  • Lothar Warneke on Our Short Life, 1999, 7 min.
  • “Finding the Right Path in Our Short Life We Are Given,” Director Lothar Warneke in Conversation with Film Historian Erika Richter, 2001-2004. Written interview. 
  • “Designing Meaningful Spaces: Alfred Hirschmeier’s Scenography for Our Short Life,” by Annette Dorgerloh, Humboldt University Berlin

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