Photo © Roland Steiner
Roland Steiner was born in Altenburg on October 5, 1949. From 1968 to 1969, he worked as an assistant cameraman at the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films. After his graduation from the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 1974, he was a master student with, among others, Heiner Carow.
Steiner joined the DEFA Studios in 1976 and worked first on children’s documentaries. However, he became more and more interested in the lives and problems of young people. In his trilogy Jugend-Zeit, Jugend-Zeit… In der Stadt and Jugend-Zeit zu zweit Steiner explored the world of young East Germans. He was especially interested in young people who got in trouble with the legal system (Jugendwerkhof), or lived on the edge of society (Unsere Kinder). Steiner, who spent five years preparing the groundbreaking documentary Unsere Kinder, touched on the taboo topic of right-wing extremism among young East Germans in the late 1980s. Young skinheads and neo-Nazis, for the first and last time in a DEFA film, were asked about the causes and motives of their beliefs; one of the film interviews was conducted by author Christa Wolf.
Steiner has also worked on portraits of people who were outsiders because of their political involvement in society or their personal lives. His films on undercover journalist Günter Wallraff, defense lawyer Heinrich Hannover, poet Erich Fried (Die ganze Welt soll bleiben), cultural philosopher and architectural theoretician Lothar Kühne (La Rotonda Vicenza), and politician Konrad Weiss (Demokratie jetzt) were also reflections on social debates. One of his last documentaries, Zärtliche Kraft, was about the German theater legend Peter Zadek (1926–2009), whom Steiner met and accompanied during the rehearsals for his last play at the Schauspielhaus Zurich. It is a fascinating and unique insight into the theater director’s work.
From 1991 to 1993, Steiner headed the Department of Directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg, and from 1996 to 2000 the Department of Journalism at the University of Oldenburg. In 1998, he established PROCON, a center for media education in Hanover, which he has managed since then.
|2015||Dat du meen Leevsten büst? (Are You My Beloved?)|
|2010||Zärtliche Kraft (Tender Power)|
|1995||Was bleibt… Eine Erinnerung an Erich Fried (What Remains: In Memory of Erich Fried)|
|1992||Wolf Kaiser – Schauspieler. Berlin Friedrichstraße (Actor Wolf Kaiser: Berlin Friedrichstraße)|
|1991||Demokratie jetzt (Democracy Now)|
|1990||La Rotonda Vicenza|
|1989||Unsere Kinder (Our Children)|
|1988||Die ganze Welt soll bleiben – Erich Fried: Ein Porträt (Erich Fried: The Whole World Should Endure)|
|1987||alias Günter Wallraff|
|1986||Heinrich Hannover – Rechtsanwalt (Defense Lawyer Heinrich Hannover)|
|1986||Was wir Leben nennen (What We Call Life)|
|1984||Woran wir uns erinnern... (What We Remember…)|
|1982||Jugendwerkhof (Juvenile Detention Center)|
|1981||Jugend-Zeit zu zweit (Youth as a Couple)|
|1979||Jugend-Zeit… In der Stadt (Youth… in the City)|
|1976||Ein Weimarfilm (A Weimar Film, narrator)|