© DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
In 1961, rising Cold War tensions resulted in the building of the Wall dividing the two Germanys and the city of Berlin. Some films made at the DEFA Studio contributed to the effort to justify this step, for example, the vividly polemical documentary Look at This City; in contrast, other films made in the early 1960s offered a more nuanced view of its impact on East Germans, including the feature films And Your Love Too and Divided Heaven. The themes raised in these films were reworked and reverberated until the end of the GDR, with a last permutation in Heiner Carow’s The Mistake. These treatments, however, abided by the ban on actually showing the Wall in films. It is therefore no wonder that the Wall itself figures prominently in films made after this restriction was lifted in 1989, including The Architects, The Wall, Jana and Jan and Latest from the Da-Da-R.