Swan Island

(Insel der Schwäne)

GDR, 1982, 88 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast
Production Company

Synopsis

When he is 14, Stefan’s parents decide to move the family to Marzahn, a desolate high-rise suburb of Berlin that is still under construction. Stefan’s innocent childhood suddenly ends when he encounters the bullying of an older boy and his gang.

 

Officials accused director Herrmann Zschoche and scriptwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf of giving a distorted, negative view of socialist reality. They required that the team make several edits and change the final scene, which in the original cut was open-ended.

Press comments

"A plattenbau-Western taking a dig at the GDR's self-congratulatory housing propaganda. DEFA films were rarely as critical and realistic as this one."

–Achtung Berlin Festival

 

“One of DEFA’s important critical-realistic films!"

-Alpha TV

 

“An honest and socially critical film that advocates for the issues facing young people who feel emotionally suffocated—and not only in the GDR!”      

film-dienst

Availability

DVD Bonus Features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Subtitles on/off 

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