They help us to find the furniture in the dark. Imagine you have to search with your head? Well, she loses that job and gets a phonecall from her lover the same night telling her that he is leaving her for another girl. Now what? No job, no lover. But then she meets Kalle who wants to open a new restaurant and who asks her to work for him A Swedish chick lit romance with some insights about growing up, independence, and friendship.
Jun-Seok is a Korean living in Tokio. He finds a nice, but shy and sad girl friend. She tells him of doppelganger of hers living in Hokkaido. Then when he proposes to marry her, she commits suicide a day later. He later wants to be sent to Hokkaido by his company and has this longing for Yuri or her doppelganger Korean stories are often sad. I'm hoping to pick up a copy of Pachinko about a Korean family in Japan. Hopefully not so bleak. Happy new thread. I used to walk past a bagpipe shop everyday on my way to work. I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore.
I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore were they playing so badly? I learned that these bagpipes were made according to old descriptions Also Jun-Seok has a doppelganger in Hokkaido, a magician. After several strange twists of the story they meet Interesting solution not so bleak anymore :. Interesting story! Beautiful pictures!!
Have a great weekend, Paul and be careful of those shins in the dark. As always, I enjoy your photos! Thanks for posting them. I hope your weekend is a good one, filled with wonderful books. The MPS has some very interesting 'sujets'. I drove Suki and a friend of hers to the Lake of Walen. There is a car-free village, you can reach it only by foot or by boat.
From there they hiked to some waterfalls which look more impressive up close. We also found this very friendly, welcoming letter box As a mail man I'd probably take the mail back to the office and not fill this The path from Quinten to Weesen is pretty steep and stony, so one needs good shoes always a nice view over the lake. Hercule Poirot is taking a break in a London hotel and sometimes meets a friend from Scotland Yard.
When having a quick encounter with a frightened woman his curiosity and anxiety for the life of this woman moves him to solve that mystery together with his friend from the Yard. Some good insights into Poirot's character, some good other characters, but the story is so twisting and bending that I lost the interest in guessing the murder and just read on. It's not an atmospheric book and has its lengths.
But nice to meet Poirot again. There have been a large number of Bond books after Fleming but not many will be remembered for long unless the title was part of the film franchise. Poirot should probably have retired with Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes should no longer venture abroad on Baker Street. Have a great weekend. I didn't like the Bond nor the Sherlock successors. A good friend talked me into accepting Hannah as a gift and finally reading it.
Hannah has captured some traits of Poirot, others she exaggerated too much. It's a book for long train rides through a sleepless night :. Suki has flown to Korea to visit her relatives for the next seven weeks. Our daughter accompanied her and is doing a Korean language course at a university in Seoul. Suki decided to stop all chemotherapy. The adverse reactions to the medication were getting worse and the quality of life was too low.
She is getting tired pretty fast but going 'home' to the family is a bigger help than any chemical poison could give. She is fighting cancer with a healthy nutrition and a healthy trust in God. In order to prepare myself for my visit to Lower Asutria, I read not only mysteries by Alfred Komarek and Eva Rossmann , but also a bit of Jewish history.
There was a well assimilated Jewish community in this Austrian city since the s.
They had a synagogue tempel , a prayer house, and a cemetery. In the s there were around 12' inhabitants in Hollabrunn, around with Jewish background. Then they started chasing the Jews out of 'their' city: within half a year Hollabrunn was 'judenfrei' free of Jews. All the properties were forcibly sold and far below worth, mainly to the City of Hollabrunn.
Most Jews were killed in concentration camps and other such places outside Austria. Only a handful survived and very few came back to Hollabrunn - the city was very reluctant to give back all the stolen property and never made any gesture of admission of guilt or reconciliation.
The synagogue was destroyed, the cemetery devastated. The cemetery was partially restored in the s. Only after the publication of this book and others started a slight change of thinking. Not until the City donated a commemorative plaque at the place where the synagogue was. A tragic story of the wiping out a whole community by the majority. A book against forgetting. Die Glaubensgemeinschaft bestand hier seit und umfasste rund Mitglieder, davon 80 Personen in 25 Familien in der Stadt Hollabrunn. Die ihr Andenken ehrende Stadtgemeinde Hollabrunn ' 'In this house was located the in founded synagogue of the Hollabrunner citizens of Mosaic creed.
The religious community was here since and had some members, including 80 people in 25 families in the city of Hollabrunn. The Jewish community was brutally extinguished by a cynical political system in September Honouring the memory of these people, the city borough of Hollabrunn '.
They were murdered October 19th, in Treblinka. Thanks for sharing all these photos. I hope Suki has a wonderful time in Korea. Thinking of her and sending lots of good vibes.
Happy Sunday, Paul. Will you go to Korea, too. Wishing Suki and your daughter a comforting visit to Korea. I think it would be fun to learn Korean! I only read these books at intervals because they are so upsetting to me. Sadly my mother's parents died in Auschwitz. I'm now reading the first memoir of Elie Wiesel because I am so sad he is no longer alive. He was the voice of all those who suffered in the concentration camps. Seven weeks will allow you to smuggle all manner of books into the family home. Have a good weekend, Paul. It was an interesting trip to Lower Austria.
To compare the different fates of the Hollabrunner Jews is sad, disturbing and amazing. I will not go to Korea this year. I think if would have joined Suki now her siblings would not be too happy - not because of me but because they would feel obliged to entertain me and would not be able to mourn together with Suki about their mother's death. I don't know enough Korean for such occasions. The Hangul alphabet is pretty easy, but then it gets complicated I am sorry to hear about the sad memories about your family.
I feel the same about reading such books: one at a time is good enough, they are unsettling. But a necessary read for understanding our world. I wasn't aware of the dark brown past of Lower Austria before reading that book. A young student is found dead on the alp, wearing a dirndl. I just read it for Madeline's challenge to read a book with some clothing in the title. I saw 'Dirndl' and took it along from the library. Waste of time. The best is the way the story is told: He starts with some hours after discovering the corpse, then in the next chapter he tells things which happened some days ago, then switches back to a few hours later and back to a few days before the event and so on.
That structure is good but the content is bad. The characters are not alive, the end does not fit the suspense which is partially built up. She now goes to ask Yakumo for help, for he can see the dead. A detective story wherein Yakumo gets messages from the spirits of some dead and so can solve the problems.
Sending best wishes for your wife's health and that she has a relaxing and restorative time in Korea. Your pictures of the buildings looking so beautiful with their dark history linked to the Holocaust are very moving to me. I feel so sad we seem to have forgotten my country that we could have taken more people in WW2 and saved lives: and that we have a similar situation now and have focused on protecting ourselves from what, I am not sure by making borders tougher, not trying to help people who are in need. Naomi's language course has started now and they told her that is talking 'old' Korean : well, she learned from her mother here in Switzerland.
Languages always change. It is a difficult and complex situation we are in today in Europe. I read many reports from WWII refugees coming to Switzerland, I also heard from my grand parents who had a farm and had some refugees on it as well. The huge majority of the refugees were poor, thankful, eager to adapt, and taking on any work they were given.
There are so many refugees here okay not as many as there are in Germany or Austria but those who are loud and unhappy are those we notice and they start to change the atmosphere against them. I miss the idea of a guest honoring the rules of the host. There is a church close by where they go to refugee 'camp' Refugee reception office in Basel and invite them to Sunday services and lunch. They also give away clothing they collected. There are always around people coming from different nations.
And they are very thankful for being able to come along and meet with other people, get a simple lunch and some fitting clothes. Others do not come because they want better food and new clothes, not things already worn. Then we meet families here who have lost a child or more on they way coming here. Experienced sufferings and hardship on the way to Europe that one starts to cry Then I meet a man in the Caritas shop. He comes to me with a sandwich and asks me what kind of meat it has in it.
When I tell him that it is pig he cries out 'Shit!! My experiences are mixed and so are my feelings. I try to concentrate on such help I can manage myself and not get too much disturbed by the behavior of some who have no idea of receiving hospitality. A young English man, Bill, a snob, is on holidays in France when he has a little accident hitting a parked vehicle during the night.
Because he doesn't want to pay he is put in prison where he meets a vagabond, Richard, who is in prison because he has no papers. The English snob realizes that having no money can cause injustice - because a poor man is never able to proof his innocence and his word doesn't count. So Bill changes his world view during his weeks in prison and finds a friend in Richard.
He then takes this vagabond along to his rich family home ion London. Can a vagabond live in a rich home? A social novel about crosses social barriers. Published in in Switzerland by an Austrian author. When a school friend of her died suddenly she started to think about her own life and put her life into Jesus' hands. She became a professional flower maker Blumenmacherin and often prayed for sick people.
She then built a second house in order to accommodate all these people. She never told people not to take medications or not to go to a doctor. She prayed for them with the laying on of hands. Then a jealous doctor indicted her that she was acting against the laws of medical personnel. But the court acquitted her because she never used any medication or made any therapies with the patients - more became well again than the doctors around could heal themselves November She herself became then ill during the typhus epidemic in Samuel Zeller then took on the institution and it became pretty famous.
Thanks for the warning. My son has the pokemon go game and thought I start as well. But I only like collecting these pokemons - the rest is of no interest to me, and I have no subscription on my cell phone, so I can only play when I have free net access. Well, at least I know how it looks like :. Inspector Rebus is called into a run-down house where there a corpse was found, apparently died on an overdose. But certain things are suspect and Rebus starts to investigate. He is finding a whole web of rich and influential people of Edinburgh who are not exactly law abiding.
A good mystery but not the best of Rankin's. It is those who try to scam the host country, take benefits to which they're not entitled, or bad-mouth the host country who give all refugees a bad name. I think you are being very fair in what you say. In the end, it's really all about the individual refugee and that person's arrogance or humility which says it all.
I've known both kinds of immigrants to the United States as well. I don't know the answer to this issue, but it's not good to cast all immigrants as the "bad guy". You are so willing to try things! You were so great with reading manga Also, taking Biblical verses where God remembers us first the People of Israel, but also the Christians that we were all 'Fremdlinge' strangers and therefore should not suppress them.
But the Law also makes it clear that those strangers living among the People of Israel had to obey the law of the land except the cultic laws. I think we today often make the mistake in this area where we consider our own laws applicable only to 'natives' and not for the refugees. An interesting verse is Isaiah KJV The German talks of refugees. As far as I understand the OT laws I guess the refugees and outcasts were given food when hungry, clothes when naked, but then they had to work for their livelihood or move on.
So, you are further into the game? Not just collecting? I don't get the rest I should ask my son, but I prefer reading books. A disturbing, thought provkoing and hope giving book. A deaf young teenager is nearly killed by her father who shot at his family, she met Christians who taught her to trust God's love. She learnt the sign language and went to Israel to teach the deaf there. I didn't know that translating the sermon or Scripture on a Sabbath in a synagogue is forbidden because that is regarded as work, forbidden to do on a Sabbath.
A American couple are called to serve in the frontier region of Tajikistan and help the refugees coming from Afghanistan.
Index of /page_3
A couple were living in Turkey when their child was born with Down syndrome. Through friends they were able to reach other parents with handicapped children who are regarded as a punishment of Allah in their environment , help them train and educate their children and bring them the Christian hope of love and forgiveness. The book gives also a lot of details and statistics about the fate in women in the world: prostitution, widow burning, marriage to the Koran in Pakistan where a young girl can be married to the Koran and then is locked away for the rest of her life , marriage for time in Iran a man can pay a fee and then a judge signs a marriage contract for this man with a woman for a few days only , female genital mutilation, honor killings, salvery, E-brides where one may buy a bride online Guests must behave properly, though!
It's a two-way street. I am collecting Pokemon, but I'm also trying to train at the gym, which just happens to be my own Little Free Library of Twinbrook , which is located on my front lawn. Therein lies the problem with this game. I use Pokemon GO for walking. I try to walk miles per day by walking from Pokestop to Pokestop.
This is the most exercise I've had in about a year! It's not the translation. It's the act of writing on Shabbat Sabbath. Your book sounds interesting I agree here wholeheartedly.
There are people here who only see the admonition to not bewray funny word the strangers - and not asking whether they are refugees and whether they behave as guests. I deleted my pokemon go. I realized that I was too much absorbed when walking and couldn't read anymore when riding on the tram. It was some fun but it became too time absorbing. So someone conducting a choir with hand signs is working? Sorry that I gave such a depessing impression by mentioning all the statistics of True grit.
It is very encouraging to read the testimonies of these nine women telling their stories. So many of them had a bad start into life, found faith in Christ and then were able to be a blessing for others. I was tempted to flip over the statistical parts but then thought that it is good to have facts about what the situation of women are. And these facts are really depressing. Agreed that it is a time sink.
For that reason, I never played video games for the past many years either on my own computer or on my phone. I would think not. It is the actual performance of writing which is forbidden. In reality, only the very observant observe these laws strictly. More information about Shabbat prohibitions can be found here on the Chabad website. Thanks for the link.
I will keep it in my mind for later. We had a model of the tabernacle here in Germany just over the border some years ago similar to the one in the Timna Park and I helped guiding people through the exhibition. That was very fascinating. Smith and his guide travel further eastward on the Silk Road. But then he falls off his camel into the Aral Sea. Two girls help him out of the water and bring him home because he calls himself a medic.
So he helps relocate a dislocated shoulder. The word spreads and the other day the town is filled with sick people who want to that doctor Then the story tells of the two girls, twins, who are eager to look for suitable husbands Bridget Monaghan has seven children but no husband and all children look very much alike some men from the little village in Ireland A humorous story about the growing up of these different children. Paul is a free lance journalist when he gets the diagnosis 'cancer'. At the same time a new right wing party is winning local elections and is regarded as winning the national German elections.
The leader reminds Paul of his past during the Nazi time. The idea for this polit thriller is good, but the characters are flat. The philosophical discussions about politics, ethics and terminal illness are fine but the plot is week. Timm, 14, is living with his stepmother and quite unhappy but he has a very specific and positive way to laugh.
So one day a fine lord approaches him and offers him to be able to win each and any bet in return for his laughing. The boy wins every bet in the horse racing and gets reach - but he loses his laughter. But Timm wants his laughter back. A very good book not for children only: what is more important to be reach or to be able to laugh?
A book I read as a teenager ages ago and now enjoyed again. He meets former Estonians resistance fighters, collaborators, Chechens, and Russian Mafia people. The students seem not too much interested in his lectures and the faculty of the university shuns him. Each chapter plays in a different centuries from the Year-War till and gives historical insights about different, mainly theologians, important people of the time.
A bit confusing at times but gives a lot of fascinating historical details. A well written Swiss historical novel. A well known politician is found dead in his car, naked, death caused by a heart attack. Commissario Montalbano has the feeling that there is more to that and starts to investigate despite the pressure of the Sicilian politicians etc. A bit a weird case. The crime was not the death of the man but the circumstances of the finding of the corpse. New to me Italian mystery series. Interesting title: the form of water - what form does water have in a jar, in a bottle, in the sea?
A bit similar are people in different places: when found in such a place, they must have been doing that Did you read them all? Actually I love the audio books read by Grover Gardner so I like to listen to them. Was soll ich tun? Das Klingeln des Telephons riss mich aus tiefstem Schlaf. When in Austria, I discovered three free 'telebookings' telephone booths full of free books.
Now I have a brand new tooth the dentist didn't send the bill so far, so I still can smile. The 'Kellergassen' wine alleys are quite famous in Lower Austria. Some villages still have these alleys where the people dug cellars into the earth and made and stored and drank their own wine. So look out for the cat! Walter is unhappy married and dreams about killing his neurotic wife. She fells over a cliff - and he behaves so strange that the people start to believe he killed her. A weird plot with manipulative characters and an unsatisfying ending. We were staying in a Presshaus a house for making and store wine -- front entry: cellar back entry: the flat -- the wine press the cellar when the house was built, they started with the cellar, then laid the base, put the wine press on it and then built the rest of the house.
There is no way to get the press out of the house now without cutting it in pieces. A young girl is found unconscious in an elevator in a hotel in Zurich. She was brought to the nearby private hospital of Dr. So This begins to investigate, he wants to find out where this girl came from and wants to help her to get her memory back. His first hint leads him to the prison in Lucerne A good story for young adults. Hey Paul The wine press building looks like a great place to visit.
I would never guess from the outside that it had such a big practical cellar. When planning the trip with the Austrian friends, I told them about Alfred Komarek and Eva Rossmann and their mysteries from that area. And so they had the idea to bring us to that house, owned by a policemen married to a speech therapist. When they came for the bill during our last evening there, we were asking to see the cellar. We were so impressed and did not save with compliments, so much so, that he offered us some of his wine and we drank 4 bottles of wine together 8 people all together.
Adrian Weynfeldt is the last of a very rich family, leading an orderly but sometimes boring life. Then one day he meets Lorena, a nice year-old-ex-model, who takes each day after the other and finds a protoector in Adrian whom she tries to hold out for financial reasons. Adrian is an art expert and works for an auctioneer.
He knows the owner of the picture 'Femme nue devant une salamandre' by Felix Vallotton see cover below and who wants to sell it. A Swiss art thriller with some infos concerning Swiss art and auctioneering. Slow, but very interesting read. Judge Di Dee solves two historical mysteries. In the first a gibbon drops a golden ring with a gemstone and some blood on it in the garden of the Judge.
They then found a corpse in a nearby shack in the forest In the second story the Judge travels ahead of his entourage when a flood destroys a bridge behind him. He finds shelter in a land house but there are also the Flying Tigers, some bandits besieging this place Eine Villa mit dem Namen Mount Lodge. The whole of Gaul is occupied by the Romans, well, everything? No, a little village is still free and fights them.
They have a secret which them strength and a Roman spy should find it out. Fun comic. I think it must be about time to revisit them. Majestic, the chief, agrees to a bet to cook a stew with leaves of Caesar's laurel wreath. So Asterix and Obelix are sent to Rome to get the spices The Romans succeed in setting the druid out of action and to hinder him making anymore magic potion. So the Romans asks a Rome friendly Chief to challenge Majestix. When he wins, the whole tribe is obliged to follow the new ruler Clepatra and Julius Caesar bet that the Egyptians are too decadent to a palace as they used to in the past.
But the Egyptian architect asks his friends from Gaul to help with the project. So Asterix, Obelix and Miraculix travel to Egypt Asterix and Obelix are the best! Later on, the man sent us some leaflets He invited us to a Celtic event where he played the part of a druid! I hope you are doing well, with your wife and daughter in Korea. Keep reading! Wife and daughter will return 13th September. I was bathing all the orchids yesterday, so I hope they look fresh and glorious when Suki sees them again :. A nephew of Majestix is sent to the village from Lutetia to learn life.
He is captored by the Normans who are on an expedition to learn to fly - they know of no fear and therefore want to learn about fear which give wings A boy is steeling the lunches from other school kids. His mother has been kidnapped and Commissario Montalbano is investigating. A spy-intrigue-mystery, with a bit of a love story between Montalbano and Livia The Romans want to take part in the Olympic Games in Olympia, and Asterix thinks that, since they belong to the Roman Empire, they can join the Roman team.
But they are not allowed to make use of their magic potion Januar schwenkten von Basel her drei Schlitten ins Dorf Riehen ein, wie solche seit vielen Jahrzehnten in dieser Gegend nicht mehr anzutreffen sind. A Chinese year-old girl is a very good baduk go player in Manchuria. She plays every day on the Place of the Thousand Winds. One day she meets a stranger who challenges her. They start to play not saying anything during the game.
Das Flüstern des Todes: Thriller - AbeBooks - Kevin Wignall:
Every evening she notes the stones on a piece of paper and they continue the game the next day. Both do not know the other's name or anything else. But each can feel the soul of the other through the game. The one exception is Christian Lehmann, who was born in Lehmann had a long career in East Germany, filming dozens of documentaries and documentary shorts.
The Wende appears to have had little effect on his career. He continues to film documentaries to this day. In this documentary, we see Rammstein in its formation phase along with some later concerts by Feeling B. Due to various disputes with the bands, this third part has gone through many changes over the years.
Neither of these is available for distribution at this time. Freed from the topical restraints imposed by the SED, East German directors briefly found themselves able to make the films they had always wanted to make. We saw something similar in the West during the late sixties when Hollywood was no longer sure what would work at the box office and started letting directors push the boundaries; sometimes successfully The Swimmer , A Space Odyssey , and Bonnie and Clyde , and sometimes, er, interestingly Skidoo , Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
One of the last films to come out of DEFA was Miraculi , but by that time the studio was foundering, and would only release a few more films before closing its doors. The story climaxes on the banks of a lake that has disappeared overnight, leaving a group of jaded party-goers wondering what happened. The part about the lake is true. As the intertitle at the beginning of the film explains, on June 15, , the Schwarzer See Black Lake near Sagsdorf, Germany vanished during the night. Locals reported hearing a rumbling sound, and the next morning the lake was gone.
The gravel pile created a displacement of the shaky clay layers under the lake, which then pushed the water in the lake into a nearby swamp, swallowing up the backhoe and beaching a boat. Eventually the lake returned, larger and shallower than before. Now trees eerily rise from under the water, and a road dips into the water, reappearing on the opposite bank.
Such comparisons are, by their nature, facile and inapt, but they do provide a way to quickly categorize films to either entice or repulse potential viewers. If one were to compare Miraculi to anything, it would have to be Last Year in Marienbad , with its band of decadent party-goers wandering around, talking without listening, all acting as if they are in a dream. As to this last aspect, Miraculi is less circumspect than Last Year in Marienbad.
He began making short documentaries, but by the seventies he was making feature films. He scored his first big hit with Blue Bird Blauvogel , the story of a white boy who is raised by the Indians and then returned to his family seven years later, but it was his film Your Unknown Brother that made the biggest splash.
Ostensibly, it was a film about the Nazis, but with its tale of informants and personal betrayals, the story hit a little too close to home. He made a few short documentaries after the Wende, and taught at the Film and Television Academy in Potsdam, but his directing career was effectively over. Ranisch was born in in Karl-Mark-Stadt now Chemnitz. He studied at the Theater Academy in Leipzig and joined a local theater shortly thereafter. He continues to work in films and television.
Stefanie Stappenbeck also appears in a small role as a surveyor at the end of the film. Stappenbeck got her start on East German television, but would go on to a highly successful career in German films after the Wende. She continued to work in theater throughout her life, and became an outspoken critic against the misuses of power that plagued the SED during its later years in control of East Germany. She was one of the organizers of the demonstration for freedom and democracy on November 4, at Alexanderplatz.
Like most of the post- Wende films that came out of DEFA, the public reacted to the film with indifference. Miraculi played for five days before closing.
DEFA and Film History
It would be years before this film would receive the attention it deserved. Even today, the film is not nearly as well known as it should be. With the notable exception of horror movies, the East German film industry that is to say, DEFA made films of nearly every genre from westerns to science fiction; from thrillers to romantic comedies.
If it were a Hollywood film, Jana and Jan Jana und Jan would be categorized as a women-in-prison film, but without the usual salaciousness and exploitation attached to that genre. It has the usual tropes for these films: the prison social hierarchy, girl fights, and shower scenes, but nothing is Jana and Jan is played for leers or laughs. It is a grim and gray film, with cinematography to match. There he meets Jana Kristin Scheffer , a tough year-old who sleeps with Jan on a dare. Jana gets pregnant, and then decides at the last minute to have the child. During their incarceration, the Wall opens, and the teens at the detention center are optimistic that this will improve things for them.
Director Helmut Dziuba had started working on the script for this film before the Wall came down, but the events at the time led him to rewrite the story to include the Wende , making the narrative even bleaker. He seems to be saying here that when the Wall was up, at least there was a promise of a better life on the other side of the border, but now there is nothing to look forward to except bleakness and death. Not exactly feel-good material. It is questionable that the script would have seen the light of day before the Wall fell. Even in the final days of the foundering republic, discussion of the topic of trying to cross the border was a touchy one.
The Flight managed to get away with it because it showed the fatal futility of trying to do so, and the evil avariciousness of the gangs that arrange these escape efforts. Dziuba died in It was also the last film for cinematographer Helmut Bergmann. He was already 66 when Jana and Jan came out. He died in in Potsdam. She had starred in his previous film Forbidden Love , in which Brendler plays a year-old girl who is in love with an year-old boy.
Brendler is a strong screen presence, and the only thing wrong with that is that it threatens to pull attention away from the main characters. Unlike the two leads in the film, Brendler has gone on to have a highly successful career in films and television in unified Germany. Nor was Jana and Jan the first film for Karin Gregorek, who plays one of the prison administrators. Gregorek started in films in , and continued acting after the Wende , primarily in television.
After the Wall came down and West Germany, for all intents and purposes, took over East Germany, there came the inevitable retrospection. What the hell happened?
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How did we get from there to here? There were plenty of people who still believed in socialism, and thought it could lead to a better world than unbridled capitalism, but nobody was listening in East German industries were dismantled for salvage and sold to the highest bidders. The Treuhandanstalt was set up to facilitate the privatization with disastrous results. Over half the workforce in East Germany was laid off, plunging the entire eastern half of Germany into poverty without the safety net previously provided by the State.
Anger and resentment took hold. Right-wing extremist groups started arriving from Bavaria and the USA to recruit new members from the youths in cities such as Jena and Cottbus. This left them particularly susceptible to the simplistic solutions offered by these extrememist groups. Maybe the only way to process what happened was with absurdist comedy. The story takes place in an imaginary town called Stalina. Much of the film, in fact, deals with the issue of what happens when you treat an ideology as a religion, which is what Stalin did, and was what the leaders of the SED did, treating their decisions as proclamations from on high.
As a result, the people in the town have gone slightly mad, trying to be good socialists while butting heads with the various officials who come to town and cause trouble for them. The film is narrated by Marie Stefanie Janke , a local girl, who observes the madness around her and manages to rise above it. Add to this, local nymphomaniac Liesbeth Franziska Arnold , an undersized SED official Fred Delmare, not surprisingly , a pale white wraith, a boa constrictor, and various locals who come in and out of the story. The Land Beyond the Rainbow belongs to an unusual and essentially undocumented micro-genre of films that take place in stark, burned-out landscapes with people talking at each other more than with each other.
These are often surreal allegories about the absurdity of modern life, even when the action take place in a distant past or the far future. They are episodic, and their humor is dark and sardonic. Born in , Herwig Kipping was part of the Nachwuchsgeneration —a whole raft of talented young people who were only just getting started as directors when the Wall came down.
When he was finally allowed to leave, he was also expatriated, a dishonor the SED reserved for people that really irritated them. Glatzeder regularly appears in films, on television, and on stage to this day. As it should be, there are several jokes and references intended for stricly East German audiences. When people in the town vote or not a person should be exiled or censured, everyone raises their hand, including the person being censured. Old school communists put a lot of value in unanimity of opinion. Because of this, votes in the politburo rarely resulted in split decisions.
The most famous example of this occurred on October 17, , when the politburo voted to remove Erich Honecker as General Secretary. When the vote came, Honecker also raised his hand along with everybody else. The collective had spoken, so who was he to disagree? This is a film for people with an understanding of history, and who like their humor sardonic. Fans of unusual and transgressive cinema will definitely want to check this film out. It was an official selection at the Berlinale, although it did not win.
When the Berlin Wall finally came down, East Germans danced for joy in the streets. No more Stasi , no more food shortages, no more travel restrictions, and no more fiddling with their Trabis to get the damned things started. A few months later, the new Volkskammer voted to approve the reunification of Germany, much to the dismay of Margaret Thatcher, who actively petitioned against it.
Things were looking up—or so the East Germans thought. Within a year, many East Germans would be regretting their votes. Factories and businesses were taken over by Western conglomerates that immediately started laying off as many people as they could. They preferred to hire foreign workers to do the jobs instead, further exacerbating the mounting tensions in the East. Without the safety nets provided by the state, the young people in East Germany were in dire straits, and were wondering what happened to their country when the Nazis started arriving from Bavaria and America, ready to provide easy answers for the local youths.
Herzsprung was the first and last East German film to tackle this subject. DEFA would only make six more films before closing up shop. Herzsprung takes place in a small town of the same name that sits on the A24 highway just south of Wittstock. The proverbial wide spot in the road. The film follows the adventures and misadventures of a woman named Johanna Claudia Geisler as she tries to navigate the changes occurring in her village.
The film starts with the termination of her job working in a factory kitchen. It looks like a pretty crummy job, but since her husband Jan had lost his job months earlier, thanks to the closing of the agriculture cooperatives, it meant there would be no money coming in. Unable to find work, Jan has sunken into a state of self-pity and alcoholism, and is becoming physically abusive. After Jan commits suicide, Johanna starts to take up with a stranger Nino Sandow who recently arrived in town.
Herzsprung is directed by Helke Misselwitz from her own script. Misselwitz brings her documentary background to this film, with hand-held cameras and shots of peripheral characters to create a sense of place. Nonetheless, she also recognizes the freedom a feature film gives you to compose scenes, and uses this to create powerful images, such as the scene of Johanna fleeing the burning roadside stand. Also like Misselwitz, he comes from a documentary background. Here he gets to push the limits of what you can do with a camera, sometimes pushing it over the edge. Claudia Geisler is well-cast as Johanna, endowing the character with a unique combination of fragility and resilience.
Geisler, an East German, was only beginning to appear in films when the wall came down. She first appeared on screen in a small part in Interrogating the Witness Vernehmung der Zeugen , an interesting little crime thriller starring Christine Schorn. While working on Little Thirteen , she met her future husband Thomas Bading.
Since , she has been working under the name Claudia Geisler-Bading. The music for the film is primarily either well-known classical pieces or songs by the Berlin folk-rock group Poems for Laila. Poems for Laila still performs, although their line-up has changed considerably over the years. Like other multi-instrumental groups that toy with different ethnic music styles, their music is difficult to categorize—a little like DeVotchKa or 17 Hippies, but definitely its own thing.
Both films tackle the issue of racism in Germany 3 , and both films are beautifully shot. In the opening shot a woman sings a beautiful song while what appears to be snow drifts across the screen. A change that would eventually lead to the formation of the National Socialist Underground NSU , and the deaths of several people all over Germany.
Although, the name of the town, according to some sources, somes not from the word for heartbreak, but from low middle German meaning deer or hart spring Hertsprink. Although, in a interview with Hiltrud Schulz of the DEFA Library, Misselwitz said that she was primarily trying to show the growing hostility in East German towns towards outsiders rather than specifically addressing racism. After the Wende , DEFA continued to exist for a few years, and continued to make films using the same stable of technicians and actors, but now they could make films about the one thing that was always taboo in the GDR: The government itself.
The Mistake follows the adventures and misadventures of Elisabeth Bosch, a tough widow who works as a cleaning lady for the mayor of a dying East German town. The mayor, whose name is Reimelt, is secretly in love with Elisabeth, but never does anything to show it until a West German stranger named Jacob Alain shows up in town.
Alain is from Hamburg, and is in the town on business. He first notices Elisabeth while she is playing with her two grandsons in her backyard. Eventually, they start to like each other, causing Riemelt to takes steps to prevent the couple from seeing each other, sparking a series of events that turn fatal. The title of this film is impossible to translate adequately into English. Carow plays on all of these meanings, and he does so for all sides of the story.
There are plenty of mistakes to go around. One Verfehlung leads to another in a downward spiral. The Mistake is based on a novella by Werner Heiduczek. Director Heiner Carow started working on this film as a project before the Wall came down, but Heiduczek also often wrote about the problems encountered by gay people in East German society. Carow thought that a film about the gay scene in Berlin stood a better chance of getting made than one about an evil government official, so he decided to make his next film on that subject instead.
After the Wende , Carow returned to The Mistake , recognizing a rare opportunity to make this film. The East German government was now a thing of the past, but DEFA was still making movies, usually in association with West German production companies. There were a few more DEFA films in the pipeline, but the valve was shut.
This was her first DEFA film in twelve years, and she gives it her all. He used much of the same core group of technicians on this film that he used on Coming Out , including his wife Evelyn Carow, one of the best film editors in East Germany, his son Stefan, a talented musician in his own right, and cinematographer Martin Schlesinger. Also here is Dirk Kummer, who worked as both an actor and assistant director in both films.
Stefan Carow, meanwhile, has moved to Los Angeles where he continues to compose and perform. There are some similarities. Unfortunately for this film, it came out at a time when no one wanted to hear anything about how things were in the GDR. The film only saw 8, paying customers according to one source. Coming, as it did, after reunification, but before Ostalgie , the film died a quick death at the box office and is largely forgotten today.
The film certainly deserves more attention and will, hopefully, some day receive it. East Germany, of course, prided itself on having done away with class structure, but, in fact, one still existed. Those working in menial jobs did not have the same perks as the so-called intelligentsia, or the people in political offices. Following the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, , events in East Germany started happening fast.
Faster than DEFA could keep with. Yet DEFA soldiered on, buffeted mercilessly by the winds of change. The book was controversial, but it was always easier to get books published than films made in the GDR. The film studio had stayed away from controversial topics ever since the 11th Plenum.
The story starts when Hans-Peter Dallow is let out of prison after serving 21 months for subversive activity. Prior to prison, Dallow was a history professor, who sometimes played the piano at a local Kabarett. This would have been early in —shortly after the 11th Plenum, when the East German government was cracking down on any movie, performance, or other art that even remotely smacked of criticism against them.
The next thing Dallow knew, he was trundled off the prison along with the rest of the performers. The woman has already spent the night with Dallow.