Washerwomen, Dir. Jürgen Böttcher, German Democratic Republic, 1972, 22 mins, German with English subtitles
After 38 years of existing as a divided country, the first crucial step towards German unification occurred on 9 November 1989 when Berlin opened its checkpoints and people passed freely between East and West for the first time in decades. We commemorate 30 years since this historic moment with three programmes of short films highlighting the dissenting and subversive work made in the German Democratic Republic.
This mini-retrospective highlights the work of East German documentarian and painter Jürgen Böttcher. Working within the ideological confines of the GDR, Böttcher's body of work forms an insightful, witty and deeply humane look at the workers, students and artists of the socialist republic. In drawing us into their frustrations, their insecurities and their humour, Böttcher offers up a gently subversive, cinéma vérité-influenced perspective that strives to find the individual within the collective. 73 minutes.
Barefoot and Without a Hat, 1964, 25 min
Washerwomen, 1972, 22 min
Im Lohngrund, 1976, 26 min