When You're Older, Dear Adam

Original title: (Wenn du groß bist, lieber Adam)
GDR, 1966/1990, 74 min, color
In German; English subtitles

Nine-year-old Adam lives alone with his father while his mother studies out of town. He is a clever boy with an active imagination. One day, a grateful swan gives him a magic flashlight. When its rays shine on someone who is lying, the person floats up into the air! Adam and his father decide to produce more of these flashlights, but no one is interested in buying them, least of all the politicians.


Before Günther's comedy was canceled during production in February 1966 and also partially destroyed afterwards, officials had already censored the film script. When restorers later worked on the film’s release after the fall of the Wall in 1989, they discovered that passages of the dialog—presumably found as being too subversive—had been removed from the soundtrack. Instead of hiding this aggressive form of censorship, they decided to mark these passages with inserts.

Special features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • “A Process of Searching: When You’re Older, Dear Adam,” by Lukas Foerster, film historian
  • “A Photogenic Set Design,” by art historian Marcus Becker, Humboldt University Berlin
  • “Released 25 Years Later,” by Erika Richter and Rolf Richter, film historians

When You're Older, Dear Adam

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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