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Cinema of Collaboration: DEFA Coproductions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe

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Volume 21

Film Europa

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Cinema of Collaboration

DEFA Coproductions and International Exchange in Cold War Europe

Mariana Ivanova

292 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-343-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2019)

ISBN  978-1-80073-208-7 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (January 2022)

eISBN 978-1-78920-344-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®



“Ivanova demonstrates [in this refreshing volume] that in the 20th century there was a common language of European film, a language that transcended ideology and the Cold War… Highly Recommended.” • Choice

“Mariana Ivanova's book is being published at a time when the history of producers and cinematic exchange is increasingly coming into the focus of research in different subjects and countries... [Her] study can also give important impulses to current research in this extended context; its reading is therefore highly recommended.” • Filmblatt

“Ivanova's study is groundbreaking in many respects, as it succeeds in demonstrating the international networking of DEFA film heritage using concrete examples. Not to look at the cultural development in the GDR in isolation, but to understand it as part of a pan-European tradition, is an important concern of future DEFA research in order to better assess the significance of East German culture.” • Connections

Cinema of Collaboration marks a crucial moment in English-language scholarship on East German cinema. Mariana Ivanova’s study opens up a nuanced and multi-layered engagement with DEFA films beyond the cultural sphere.” • Sebastian Heiduschke, Oregon State University

“This is a very well-written and thoroughly researched study that offers interesting new insights into the transnational connections of producers and artists. In its transnational perspective, the book outlines new trajectories of cultural politics that will change how scholars think, write, and teach about DEFA.” • Maria Stehle, University of Tennessee


From their very inception, European cinemas undertook collaborative ventures in an attempt to cultivate a transnational “Film-Europe.” In the postwar era, it was DEFA, the state cinema of East Germany, that emerged as a key site for cooperative practices. Despite the significant challenges that the Cold War created for collaboration, DEFA sought international prestige through various initiatives. These ranged from film exchange in occupied Germany to partnerships with Western producers, and from coproductions with Eastern European studios to strategies for film co-authorship. Uniquely positioned between East and West, DEFA proved a crucial mediator among European cinemas during a period of profound political division.

Mariana Ivanova is Associate Professor of German Film and University of Massachusetts Amherst and Academic Director of the DEFA Film Library. She is co-editor of the book series Film and the Cold War with Berghahn Books. In addition to her scholarly publications, she is also the creator of several short documentaries about former DEFA filmmakers

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


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