East Germany's Last Film: Series Shown in L.A.

The Wende Museum announces WENDE FLICKS: Last Films from East Germany, a film series organized in collaboration with the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and UCLA Library.  These films, which have never been seen outside of Germany, were made as the socialist German state crumbled and the Wall fell.  (‘Wende’ in German means ‘turning point’ and is the colloquial term used to refer to the end of the Cold War and reunification of Germany.)        

The series of 10 feature films and 4 documentaries will be screened throughout Los Angeles February 28 to March 12, 2009 as part of a citywide program of German cultural events complementing  LACMA’s exhibition “
Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures” (January 25 through April 19, 2009).  The films will be screened at LACMA’s Bing Theater, the Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater, UCLA’s Bridges Theater, the Wende Museum and the Goethe-Institut LA.

Justinian Jampol, founder and president of the Wende Museum, describes Last Films from East Germany as the cinematic expression of a culture at a pivotal moment. “These films are not just historical records, but are keepers  of an artistic spirit – a rebellious spirit struggling against economic and political realities that toppled the iron and concrete slabs of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago, – and a critical spirit that continues to offer powerful commentary on the human cost of what was an extraordinary transformation. So here they are, remarkable films from a momentous period premiered on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, a truly historic anniversary.”

WENDE FLICKS showcases films made by the last generation of filmmakers trained in the GDR (German Democratic Republic).  These filmmakers, freed from decades-long restrictions, depicted a world in the midst of radical change and the disintegration of the East Bloc with the tools they had acquired from a long and illustrious filmmaking tradition.  The films have a critical edge denied to filmmakers of prior generations and offer an important window into the Wende period. Several directors will be in Los Angeles to introduce their films and to participate in the Wende Flicks symposium, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., March 6 at the Young Research Library, UCLA (see attached schedule).

The Wende Museum’s mission is to acquire, preserve and encourage engagement with the historical artifacts and resources of Cold War-era Eastern Europe for the benefit of future generations and a growing academic and general audience that seeks to understand the diverse experiences and cultural expressions that emerged under communist rule. With 100,000 artifacts, Wende, founded in 2002, has the world’s largest private collection of communist-bloc cultural artifacts and archives from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. 

The Wende Museum is located 5741 Buckingham Parkway, Sui*te E, Culver City.  The Museum is open to the public every Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by phone reservation at 310.216.1600. The website address is www.wendemuseum.org
.            For further information please contact Barbara Kraft Communications & Public Relations at 818.760.8498 or e-mail to: Barbara@bkraftpr.com.