© DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
Genre films—including children's films, comedies, Westerns, war films, science fiction, musicals and spy films—were an important part of East German film production. They were an attempt to ideologically counteract and economically compete with entertainment films and television from the West. The genre films drew millions of viewers into movie theaters and became box-office hits. Despite their modest number, science fiction films made at the DEFA Film Studios offer many insights—into East German film-watching public, the socialist imagination, and the integration of ideology and visual effects—which make DEFA’s contributions to the science fiction genre integral to GDR pop culture from the late 1950s to the fall of the Berlin Wall.