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Berlinale celebrates 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall...

After Winter comes Spring

One of this year’s central celebrations is the 20th anniversary of the peaceful revolution and the fall of the Wall in 1989. To mark this occasion, the 59th Berlin International Film Festival is presenting the special series “After Winter Comes Spring – Films Presaging the Fall of the Wall”. Following the Festival, the programme will tour throughout Germany. For the series, which was initiated by the Deutsche Kinemathek and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the curator and his team searched archives in Eastern Europe and Germany for material.

The prints we are presenting are mostly new and have come from Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. They include feature and documentary works, as well as animated and experimental films, all of which were produced between 1977 and 1989, and convey a sense of the radical changes to come. Some of the titles have never been shown in Germany before: e.g., András Jeles’ surreal portrait of manners from Budapest, A kis Valentinó (Little Valentino, Hungary 1979); or Petar Popzlatev’s Az, Grafinyata (The Countess, Bulgaria 1989) that tells of areas marginalized by socialism, of drugs and psychiatric wards. The series will open on February 7, 2009 with Helke Misselwitz´ prize-winning documentary Winter adé (After Winter Comes Spring, GDR 1988). With a healthy amount of disrespect, this work struck a new note, documenting in film the advent of change.

Guests and Accompanying Events

Věra Chytilová, director of the Czech New Wave classic Sedmikrásky (Daisies, ČSSR 1966), will be a guest of the special series and present her film Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliště (Prefab Story, ČSSR 1979/1981): a satirical look at the trials and tribulations of the residents of a half-finished prefab housing development. Piotr Szulkin will attend the German premiere of his science-fiction parable about everyday life under a dictatorship: Wojna światów - następne stulecie (The War of the Worlds – Next Century, Poland 1981/83).

At the panel discussion on February 8, 2009 (at 11 a.m. in the Filmhaus at Potsdamer Platz), these two directors will join their German colleagues Thomas Heise, Helke Misselwitz, Michael Klier and Rainer Simon to discuss with Claus Löser, curator of the series, the artistic and political options of cinema under totalitarian conditions.
Rachid Nougmanov, director of Igla (The Needle, USSR 1988), one of the most famous perestroika films, will attend the screening of his film during the second half of the Festival.

For more information on this special series, see: and/or

After Winter Comes Spring - The Films

A kis Valentinó (Little Valentino) by András Jeles, with János Opoczki, István Iványi, József Farkas. Hungary 1979

Az, Grafinyata (The Countess) by Petar Popzlatev, with Svetlana Yancheva, Alexander Doynov, Itzhak Finzi. Bulgaria 1989

Igla (The Needle) by Rachid Nougmanov, with Viktor Tsoy, Marina Smirnova, Pjotr Mamonov. USSR 1988

Jadup und Boel (Jadup and Boel) by Rainer Simon, with Kurt Böwe, Katrin Knappe, Christian Grashof. GDR 1981/1988

Krótki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film about Killing) by Krzysztof Kieślowski, with Mirosław Baka, Krzysztof Globisz. Poland 1988

Kutya éji dala (The Dog’s Night Song) by Gábor Bódy, with Gábor Bódy, Marietta Méhes, Attila Grandpierre. Hungary 1983

Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliště (Prefab Story) by Věra Chytilová, with Lukáš Bech, Antonín Vaňha, Eva Kačírková. ČSSR 1979/1981
As introductory film:
Ioane, cum e la construcţii? (How’s Work on the High-Rise Block, Ion?) by Sabina Pop, Romania 1983 (documentary)

Tańczący Jastrząb (Dancing Hawk) by Grzegorz Krolikiewicz, with Franciszek Trzeciak, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Czesław Przybyła. Poland 1977

Chuchelo (The Scarecrow) by Rolan Bykov, with Kristina Orbakaite, Yuri Nikulin, Yelena Sanayeva. USSR 1983/1986

Überall ist es besser, wo wir nicht sind (The Grass Is Greener Everywhere Else) by Michael Klier, with Mirosław Baka, Marta Klubowicz, Michael Krause. FRG 1989

Winter adé (After Winter Comes Spring) by Helke Misselwitz, GDR 1988 (documentary)

Wojna światów - następne stulecie (War of the Worlds – Next Century) by Piotr Szulkin, with Roman Wilhelmi, Krystyna Janda, Jerzy Stuhr. Poland 1981/1983

Short Film Programme

Films from the GDR Film & Television Academy “Konrad Wolf”
Sonnabend, Sonntag, Montagfrüh (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Morning) by Hannes Schönemann, GDR 1979 (documentary)
Wozu denn über diese Leute einen Film? (Why Make a Film About People Like Them?) by Thomas Heise, GDR 1980 (documentary)

Animated Films
Skaska skasok (Tale of Tales) by Yuri Norstein, USSR 1979
Balance by Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein, FRG 1989
Možnosti dialogu (Dimensions of Dialogue) by Jan Švankmajer, ČSSR 1982
Einmart by Lutz Dammbeck, GDR 1981
Tango by Zbigniew Rybczyński, Poland 1981

Experimental Films
Ein-Blick (In-Sight) by Gerd Conradt, FRG 1987
Z mojego okna (From My Window) by Józef Robakowski, Poland 1978-2000
Trabantománia by János Vető, Hungary 1982
Schestokaja bolesn muschtschin (The Severe Illness of Men) by Igor and Gleb Alejnikov, USSR 1988
Lessorub (Woodcutter) by Yevgeny Yufit, USSR 1985
Sanctus, Sanctus by Thomas Werner, GDR 1988
Konrad! Sprach die Frau Mama... (Konrad! The Mother Said) by Ramona Koeppel-Welsh, GDR 1989


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