Defa / Edition 1

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". . . the lucid style of all contributions . . . makes this volume an accessible read to students . . . this volume has also the bonus of offering an excellent appendix on sources for future research . . . this collection of essays illustrates precisely why the quality of DEFA film-making should not be confined to the archives of history." - Journal of European Areas Studies

"A useful appendix provides research sources. Written in clear prose, these essays should interest undergraduates and generalists as well as scholars and faculty." - Humanities

Western scholars have not lost any of their fascination for East German culture. Cinema in particular continues to attract interest. This volume, the first one in English, traces the development of the main institution, the state-sponsored Deutsche Film Anstalt (DEFA), which was primarily responsible for film production in the former GDR from 1946, ceasing to exist in 1992. Although largely ignored outside the former GDR, the DEFA produced anumber of excellent films and scriptwriters that are examined here for the first time. This volume analyzes the representation of fascism and anti-fascism in the cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, the conflicts between the state and the film-makers of the 1960s, and the social-political criticism in the 1970s and early 1980s. Other key issues that arise from this comprehensive look at DEFA include its representation of women, the concept of ""Heimat,"" the reception of the classical heritage, and the relation of DEFA cinema to other European film traditions.The comprehensive bibliography and a list of research sources on East German cinema make this volume an indispensable tool for students and scholars of the media.

Séan Allan is senior Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Warwick.

John Sandford is Professor of German Studies at the University of Reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Traces the development of the state-sponsored company (DEFA), which was primarily responsible for film production in East Germany from 1946 to 1992. Most of the 16 essays were presented at a conference in Reading, England, at an unspecified date. Looking at specific films and scriptwriters, they analyze the representation of fascism and anti-fascism in the 1940s and 1950s, conflicts between the state and film makers in the 1960s, and social-political criticism of the 1970s and early 1980s. Paper edition (unseen), $25. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571817532
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/5/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Allan is senior Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Warwick.

John Sandford is Professor of German Studies at the University of Reading.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 DEFA: An Historical Overview 1
2 DEFA and the Traditions of International Cinema 22
3 'Letting the Genie out of the Bottle': DEFA Film-Makers and Film und Fernsehen 42
4 The Anti-Fascist Past in DEFA Films 58
5 Discussion with Kurt Maetzig 77
6 Rebels with a Cause: The Development of the 'Berlin-Filme' by Gerhard Klein and Wolfgang Kohlhaase 93
7 DEFA: A Personal View 117
8 Representations of Work in the Forbidden DEFA Films of 1965 131
9 Censorship and the Law: The Case of Das Kaninchen bin ich (I am the Rabbit) 146
10 Paths of Discovery: The Films of Konrad Wolf 164
11 From Models to Misfits: Women in DEFA Films of the 1970s and 1980s 183
12 The Concept of 'Heimat-GDR' in DEFA Feature Films 204
13 The Re-evaluation of Goethe and the Classical Tradition in the Films of Egon Gunther and Siegfried Kuhn 222
14 Idealism Takes on the Establishment: Social Criticism in Roland Graf's Film Adaptations of Markische Forschungen (Exploring the Brandenburg Marches) and Der Tangospieler (The Tango Player) 245
15 The Documentary Work of Jurgen Bottcher: A Retrospective 267
16 Documenting the Wende: The Films of Andreas Voigt 283
About the Contributors 302
App Research Sources for East German Cinema 305
Select Bibliography 309
Index 320
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