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By Rosemary Stott

Greater than two decades after its cave in in 1989, the Berlin Wall is still an emblem of the power with which communist East Germany stored out the ‘corrupting impacts’ of neighbouring West Germany. although, regardless of the limitations, a shocking variety of inventive works, together with overseas movies, did ‘cross the Wall’ and achieve audiences within the extensive community of cinemas in East Germany.
This e-book takes a clean examine cinema as a social and cultural phenomenon within the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and analyses the transnational movie kinfolk among East Germany and the remainder of the area. Drawing on more than a few new archival fabric, the writer explores which motion pictures have been imported from the West, what standards have been utilized of their choice, how they have been obtained by means of the nationwide press and picture audiences, and the way those imports concerning DEFA (East German) cinema. the writer locations DEFA movies along the foreign motion pictures exhibited within the GDR and argues that movie in East Germany was once really extra transnational in personality than formerly notion.

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Extra resources for Crossing the Wall: The Western Feature Film Import in East Germany

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Nevertheless, the feature film was considered useful because it attracted audiences into the cinema, who would then be exposed to the newsreel as well as propaganda films during subsequent visits. In conversation with Lunacharsky in 1925, Lenin returned to the subject of the entertainment feature: ‘If you have good newsreel, serious and educational pictures, then it doesn’t matter if, to attract the public, you have some kind of useless picture of the more or less usual type. Of course censorship is necessary in any case.

However such films receive more attention than more dif ficult and artistic ones, which need to be brought to a wider audience too. 42 Seán Allan, ‘DEFA: An Historical Overview’, in Allan and Sandford (eds), DEFA, 12. 43 ‘Auszug aus dem Referat des Leiters der Abteilung Lichtspielwesen über die Entwicklung der filmpolitischen Massenarbeit 1965’, C Rep. 121 Abt. Kultur Nr 226, Bd 2, Landesarchiv, Berlin, 2. 44 Zorro (Duccio Tessari, CP: Italy/France, 1975, GDR: 7 January 1977). 45 Kein Problem (Georges Lautner, France, 1975, GDR: 14 January 1977).

These factors were discussed by of ficials (albeit never in the public domain) and were acknowledged, particularly in the 1980s, as integral aspects of cultural policy. 2 Range of Countries and Film Type It was part of the declared strategy of the state-controlled industry to balance the numbers of films from individual countries and to of fer films from as broad a range of film-producing nations as possible. This strategy corresponded with the notion that under socialism the cinema made a significant contribution to the citizens’ education.

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