Why Make A Film About These People?, Dir. Thomas Heise, German Democratic Republic, 1980, 33 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.
In this loosely curated selection of films, East German filmmakers explore the ephemeral and the forgotten. With great empathy and wit, Thomas Heise’s Why Make a Film About These People? documents the lives of the disenfranchised and impoverished youth that mischievously terrorise the streets of Prenzlaur Berg while in Nude Photography, Helke Misselwitz highlights the work of photographer Gundula Schulze and her intimacy with her subjects. Finally, as the GDR enters its final years, Eduard Schreiber searches Berlin for the last remnants of Jewish culture in the haunting Traces. 66 minutes.
Thomas Heise, Why Make a Film About These People?, 1980, 33 min
Helke Misselwitz, Nude Photography, 1983, 12 min
Eduard Schreiber, Traces, 1989, 21 min