By Rosemary Stott
Greater than two decades after its cave in in 1989, the Berlin Wall continues to be a logo of the energy with which communist East Germany stored out the ‘corrupting impacts’ of neighbouring West Germany. in spite of the fact that, regardless of the constraints, a stunning variety of inventive works, together with foreign movies, did ‘cross the Wall’ and succeed in audiences within the extensive community of cinemas in East Germany.
This ebook takes a clean examine cinema as a social and cultural phenomenon within the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and analyses the transnational movie family among East Germany and the remainder of the realm. Drawing on various new archival fabric, the writer explores which movies have been imported from the West, what standards have been utilized of their choice, how they have been acquired by means of the nationwide press and picture audiences, and the way those imports concerning DEFA (East German) cinema. the writer locations DEFA motion pictures along the foreign movies exhibited within the GDR and argues that movie in East Germany was once really extra transnational in personality than formerly inspiration.
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Additional resources for Crossing the Wall: The Western Feature Film Import in East Germany
The written protocols of the selection committee meetings testify to the ideological sensitivity of the selection process and include long reports justifying why individual films were rejected as well as selected. In the case of films screened for selection, the screening and subsequent discussions were concluded with a vote as to whether to recommend the film for selection or not. The decision was taken on the basis of a majority vote of those attending, usually between fifteen and twenty people.
Of course censorship is necessary in any case. ’22 In the East German cinema, the emphasis placed on proportions, the importance of the newsreel (Der Augenzeuge), at least until the early 1980s, when it was abolished, the moral considerations and the strategy of attracting audiences into the cinema with entertainment features all ref lected Soviet principles. The crucial dif ference from the Leninist concept was that the inclusion of entertainment films in the cinema programmes was considered to be a legitimate right of the citizens rather than being seen as a concession to mass audience taste.
It was a similar story for the Soviet film The Very Last Day,46 which was exhibited for only six days in Treptow and Niederschönhausen. ) times at the Studio cinema Camera and Fellini’s Amarcord 48 was given one screening at the same cinema and one at a special film week in the Tivoli in Pankow. 49 4 Selection Procedure and Criteria The procedures to which this section refers are in certain respects analogous to those termed ‘censorship’, although the East German authorities denied that they practised censorship and the German term for it, Zensur, was not used by them to refer to the processes outlined here.