20th Century History of Berlin in Moving Pictures
October 15, 2009 8:37 AM   Subscribe

If you were giving a crash course on the history of Berlin 1933-1990, and you were limited to just a couple films, which ones would you assign? Documentaries preferred, and they must have some kind of English language option.

Ideally, I would like one film covering Berlin during the Nazi and GDR periods. However, I could deal with, say, two Nazi films and two GDR films.

Damals in der DDR sounds like exactly what I'm looking for in the latter period, but from what I can see, there aren't any subtitles.

Note: I do know about The Lives of Others. If there are similar features that really immerse you in the life of the GDR, I'd be interested in hearing about them, but again, I'm primarily interested in nonfiction, and particularly in films with an 'informative' rather than 'slice of life' tone. Loathe as I am to say it, think Ken Burns.

posted by Beardman to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
not exactly life during the GDR but a good film showing the juxtaposition of life pre and post is Goodbye Lenin

I would definitely include it in any filmlist from the period, especially because it is a good anf funny movie.
posted by koolkat at 8:45 AM on October 15, 2009

My bf is a history teacher, and he's been showing this one to his (8th, 9th grade-ish) students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAAXjzkhGrI&feature=related - the related videos posted by the same user seem to all be from the same series.
posted by Cuppatea at 9:00 AM on October 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

I came into this thread to recommend Goodbye Lenin, but it is decidedly more on the 'slice of life' side of things.
posted by onshi at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2009

Wings of Desire (Der Himmel uber Berlin) is a standout on the Western Berlin side of things, German language but finding English subtitles should not be difficult. The film predates the fall of the wall and draws heavily upon the city scape including scenes set against the backdrop of the wall, as well as others related to the history of the city, even before 1933.

The sequel, Far away, so close (In weiter Ferne, so nah!) was made in 1993, ie post-fall of the wall, and isn't as good, but plays on some of the issues linked to the period between the films being made.
posted by biffa at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2009

christiana f its a bit 'afterschool special' but it very famous in germany. and it shows the city very romantically.
posted by darkpony at 11:30 AM on October 15, 2009

« Older Best peacebuilding blogs   |   Is there any way to deal with corrupt pages in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.