© DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
Strong female roles reflecting socialist gender ideals and policies abound, such as in the filmic foundation myth, Castles and Cottages. In other films, such as A Berlin Romance, women are portrayed as susceptible to the consumer attractions of the West, but also the site of conscience and moral action, as in The Murderers Are among Us and Destinies of Women. Later films, such as Her Third, Solo Sunny and All My Girls, emphasize the search for personal fulfillment in a society that professes gender equality and emancipation, economic independence, professional sovereignty and self-determination for women, even though it is still male-dominated. Certain films about women and women’s issues were considered too controversial and banned (Carla, Jadup and Boel) or censored (The Bicycle). A key film in this collection is the groundbreaking 1988 documentary Winter Adé, in which women of different ages and backgrounds openly discuss their lives and question the official image of women in the GDR.