for selected DEFA films

With the help of outside scholars and educators, the DEFA Film Library provides teaching guides for selected DEFA films. The goal is to help teachers in a variety of classroom settings use films that speak directly to issues that concern students and other young people today. For the selected films, Teaching Guides are available on our website and Kanopy's website, as well as appearing as a bonus feature on DVDs.


Our Teaching Guides are meant to give teachers information and ideas for how they can use a given film in an English-language classroom. The full-color PDF documents include:

  • Recommendations for teachers and others;
  • a list of chapter breaks and plot summary;
  • the historical context of the production;
  • an essay about the film itself;
  • short biographies of the director and cast;
  • three pages of teaching activities and resource materials;
  • and a selected bibliography.

We are also developing a Guide to Teaching DEFA Films in German to help adapt our suggestions for use in German-language classrooms.


Already available are:

  • Coming Out (#1), by Kyle Frackman (UBC) and Sky Arndt-Briggs (UMass Amherst), 12 pages.
  • Our Children (#2), by Katrin Bahr (Centre College) and Mariana Ivanova (UMass Amherst), 19 pages.

​Teaching Guide #3 for Biology! by Victoria Rizo Lenshyn (Amherst College) will be released soon, and The Architects and Isabel on the Stairs are in the pipeline!



PDF icon Teaching Guide #1 -Coming Out.pdf, PDF icon Teaching Guide # 2 - Our Children.pdf

Associated Films:

Associated People:

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