Neo-Nazis, skinheads, anti-skins, punks and goths in the GDR. In 1986 filming began on OUR CHILDREN. For the first time a filmmaker turned his attentions to so-called fringe groups which, officially, were not permitted. Long interviews and letters read aloud reveal a profound loss of trust in the state among young people, both on the left and right.
The end of the 1980s saw pre-revolutionary developments in the cultural sphere. Global processes of transformation are on the horizon, the machinery of censorship comes to a standstill in the GDR, and DEFA directors and authors grow more and more concerned with conflicts over identity, sexuality and urbanity. It is a time of fluid identities and unstable ideologies. Often the attitudes of the elders colour those of the next generation. In an interview Christa Wolf tries to get to the bottom of the anger felt towards the state. Frequently youngsters are left alone to deal with their problems. For many, violence is the easiest response to conflict. What quickly becomes clear: rather than a major negative experience it's the many minor humiliations which lead them to turn away from the state. The People's Police promptly interrupts the shooting of the film and notes down names. In the film Stefan Heym diagnoses that we are living in times of crisis and compares the situation with the 1930s. His statements still apply today. Roland Steiner sees his film as a plea to listen before it's too late. How late it is was illustrated by Marie Wilke in 2018 with AGGREGATE, a film about the willingness to engage in dialogue even though our culture of conversation has long ground to a halt. RB