Section: Homeland | Domownja | Domizna

Tanz auf der Kippe

Dance on the Dump

Jürgen Brauer
Germany, 1990, 97 Min

The final days of the GDR: anger, impotence and the search for the truth characterize this adaptation of Jurij Koch’s “Augenoperation”, one of the last and yet most engaging DEFA productions. Seventeen-year-old Gerat is beaten up on a waste dump and then loses his eyesight, the climax of a series of conflicts with his father, school and the state.

© DEFA-Stiftung/Jürgen Brauer

“What might happen if everyone were to start telling the truth” is the response when he refuses to participate in the self-deception of those around him. Though Gerat does find a sympathetic ear with teacher Claudia, he’s left alone in trying to prevent the removal of his beloved gasometer to the West: “The Republic celebrates and is sold off at the same time”. In the lead up to the 40th anniversary of the GDR on 7th October 1989 it comes to a showdown, in the aftermath of which Gerat is taken on an emotional rollercoaster. Whether or not he will be able to see again is uncertain, a powerful metaphor for the public mood around the time of “peaceful revolution”. Yet today the rebellious figure of Gerat (Frank Stieren) still strikes a chord, with the story a universal tale of growing up and rebellion: though the film suffered the injustice of going largely unnoticed amongst the commotion of reunification, it is more than able to hold its own with the major coming-of-age dramas of world cinema. GL

35mm | Farbe / colour
Jurij Koch
Jürgen Brauer
Wolfgang Höfer
Erika Lehmphul
Harry Leupold
Ralf Hoyer
Dagmar Manzel, Frank Stieren, Winfried Glatzeder, Eberhard Kirschberg, Christina Pasemann, Peter Prager, Sylvia Burza, Dirkpeter Schulze, Elisabeth Richter, Peter Brause, Dieter Swirkowski, Jürgen Schönewolf, Wolf-Dieter Lingk
Horst Hartwig
DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme
Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen
Mirko Wiermann
Potsdamer Str. 2
10785 Berlin
+ 4

Jürgen Brauer - born in 1938 in Leipzig, Germany. He worked as cinematographer at the DEFA studio and later as director. After Germany’s reunification he rolled mostly for TV. He created many episodes for the TV serials TATORT and POLIZEIRUF 110. Since 1999 he belongs to the team of directors of the TV serial IN ALLER FREUNDSCHAFT.

SEHNSUCHT (1989, FFC 2006)
ANNA ANNA (1993)

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