© DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
This theme combines films about authors or the theater—for example, Fallada: The Last Chapter, The Actress, Marriage in the Shadows—and literary adaptations. A wide selection of literary works were used as a basis for East German films. These ranged from Grimms’ fairy tales, to German classics such as Georg Büchner’s Wozzeck and Heinrich Mann’s The Kaiser’s Lackey. Also widely adapted were works by authors forced to flee from the Nazis—Arnold Zweig (The Axe of Wandsbek) and Friedrich Wolf (Professor Mamlock)—and acclaimed novels by East German authors, such as Christa Wolf (Divided Heaven), Jurek Becker (Jacob the Liar) and Christoph Hein (The Tango Player). The unique film The Flying Dutchman stands out for its treatment of Wagner’s opera.