The Russians Are Coming

Original title: (Die Russen kommen)
GDR, 1968/1987, 90 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

The end of WWII is fast approaching and 16-year-old Günter, a member of the Hitler Youth, still believes in a German victory. He is drafted into Nazi Germany’s last-ditch effort to resist the approaching Soviet Army. When he is captured and accused of killing a Soviet forced laborer, Günter faces an intense psychological crisis.


Heiner Carow’s semi-autobiographical film was not approved for final production. Officials argued it focused on an ordinary Nazi follower, rather than an antifascist hero, and that it was “contaminated with modernism.” The film, which includes clips from the Nazi propaganda film Kolberg (1945), was finally reconstructed and released in 1987. This DVD presents a new digitally-restored 2K-transfer of the film.


See the trailer for The Russians Are Coming





Special features:
  • New digitally-restored transfers
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • “A Film with Two Birthdays – 1968 and 1987,” by historian Burghard Ciesla
  • “Guide to Scenes and Plot,” by historian Burghard Ciesla
  • “How a Banned Film Made It to Theaters…” and  “An Interview with Director Heiner Carow,” by former DEFA chief dramaturg Dieter Wolf
  • “Restored," A conversation with film historian Ralf Dittrich and cultural historian Hiltrud Schulz
  • “Imagery with Power: Film Poster Artist Otto Kummert,” by graphic designer Detlef Helmbold
  • Berlinale Night Talk: with Knut Elstermann, Gert Krause-Melzer and Ralf Schenk (2016, 9 min.)
  • Bonus Film: Career (Karriere, GDR, 1970, dir. Heiner Carow, 84 min, b/w, new digitally-restored transfer)


The Russians Are Coming

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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