Helke Misselwitz: Journeys Through a Country That No Longer Exists

In collaboration with the Galician festival Play-Doc, we present 9 films from Helke Misselwitz, the poet laureate of East German cinema, in new HD copies. Her work is keenly awaiting rediscovery by cinephiles the world over—here's your chance.


"Helke Misselwitz shot some of her most accomplished works around the time I was born. This time coincided with the so-called reunification of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany: the fall of the Berlin Wall. Documenting the final days of a dying country, films like Bulky Trash, After Winter Comes Spring or Who's Afraid of the Boogeyman tell me more about life in East Germany than my West German education had ever told me. Those films document a changing world. They can be described as journeys through a country which doesn’t exist anymore.

However, it’s better to remain careful because, although Misselwitz is a filmmaker easily associated with DEFA and a strong double emancipation, relating to a people and to women in particular, her films are much more complex than the political slogans under whose banner they were made. Time and time again, I’ve encountered them in a more or less political or historical context, and I always ended up feeling blown away by their sheer openness, curiosity and formal brilliance. I came for History and I left with a heart full of people."

Excerpt from Patrick Holzapfel's text for Helke Misselwitz's retrospective at Play-Doc which took place in Tui, Spain from 5-8 May, 2022.


Special thanks to Agnès Wildenstein.


In cooperation with

  • PLAY-DOC

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