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DEFA: East German Cinema 1946-1992

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East German Cinema 1946-1992

Edited by Seán Allan and John Sandford

354 pages, illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-943-7 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (August 1999)

ISBN  978-1-57181-753-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (August 1999)

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"... the lucid style of all contributions ... makes this volume an accessible read to students ... this volume has also the bonus of offering an excellent appendix on sources for future research ... this collection of essays illustrates precisely why the quality of DEFA film-making should not be confined to the archives of history."  · Journal of European Areas Studies

"A useful appendix provides research sources. Written in clear prose, these essays should interest undergraduates and generalists as well as scholars and faculty."  · Humanities


Western scholars have not lost any of their fascination for East German culture. Cinema in particular continues to attract interest. This volume, the first one in English, traces the development of the main institution, the state-sponsored Deutsche Film Anstalt (DEFA), which was primarily responsible for film production in the former GDR from 1946, ceasing to exist in 1992. Although largely ignored outside the former GDR, the DEFA produced anumber of excellent films and scriptwriters that are examined here for the first time. This volume analyzes the representation of fascism and anti-fascism in the cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, the conflicts between the state and the film-makers of the 1960s, and the social-political criticism in the 1970s and early 1980s. Other key issues that arise from this comprehensive look at DEFA include its representation of women, the concept of "Heimat," the reception of the classical heritage, and the relation of DEFA cinema to other European film traditions.The comprehensive bibliography and a list of research sources on East German cinema make this volume an indispensable tool for students and scholars of the media.

Seán Allan is senior Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Warwick. 

John Sandford is Professor of German Studies at the University of Reading.

Icestorm International - Distributors of DEFA films.
First Run Features
- Distributors of independent, foreign and documentary films including DEFA films.

Subject: Film and Television StudiesHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Germany


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