Ulrich Weiß was born in Wernigerode in 1942. From 1965 to 1970, he studied cinematography and directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. He started directing at the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films in 1971. As of 1976, he also worked as a guest director in the DEFA Studio for Feature Films, moving there full-time in 1982.
After making the children’s film, Tambari, he planned his feature film debut, Tanz im Volkshaus (Dance in the Community House), a film about East Germany in the 1950s. The studio management rejected this script, however, as well as many others in the years that followed. Even the films that Weiß was allowed to produce—such as the story of a resistance fighter in 1935, Dein unbekannter Bruder, and a film about a professional boxer after WWII, Olle Henry, which received international praise—were met with indignation by East German officials. After the Berlin Wall came down, Weiß finally directed Miraculi, a project he had been planning for over ten years. Miraculi was part of the 2009 retrospective WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany that premiered at LACMA.
Ulrich Weiß—described by critics as an independent mind who broke taboos and rules—died on May 3, 2022.
|1994||The Holy Family (short)|
|1992||Abstecher (transl. Side Trip, doc.)|
|1983||Olle Henry (Ole Henry)|
|1981||Dein unbekannter Bruder (Your Unknown Brother)|
|1979||Blauvogel (Blue Bird)|
|1975||Potemkin frei (Potemkin Freed, doc.)|
|1972||Meine Waffen sind nicht gebrochen – nur mein Herze brach (transl. My Weapons Aren’t Broken-Only my Heart Broke, TV, doc.)|
|1971||Montage adé… - Ein Brigadier erzählt (No More Installations. . .- A Brigadier Reports, doc.)|