The Compass Rose
Die Windrose © DEFA-Stiftung
|DEFA Studio for Documentary Films|
|Women's International Democratic Federation|
This episodic film tells five self-contained stories of women around the world, shot by five different filmmaking teams under the artistic supervision of DEFA director Joris Ivens. Through scenes in the lives of Donana from Brazil, Jeanine from France, Chen Hsiu Hua from China, Giovanna from Italy, and Nadeshda from the Soviet Union, The Compass Rose seeks to convey the common concerns that unite the world’s workers.
Although today we might consider this an omnibus feature film, it was produced in the DEFA Studio for Documentary Film and offers an exceptional example of how international filmic relations were brought into play there. Remarkable is the internationally acclaimed team of artists who worked on this episode film, including authors Jorge Amado, Franco Solinas, Vladimir Pozner, and Maximilian Schell (prologue), and actors Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, and Helene Weigel (prologue). The film's format and the focus on individual stories were quite new at the time it was made.