Speaker / Presenter:
The DEPARTMENT OF MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES presents:
FROM US TO ME
This event is free and open to the public!
Plus intro and discussion with filmmaker Ellin Hare.
The only British camera crew to be invited to film a documentary in the communist German Democratic Republic return to Rostock after more than 25 years to retrace the characters in their 1987 portrait of two groups of workers – members of the Fishing Co-operative in Warnemünde, and a group of women crane drivers at the nearby Warnowwerft shipyard.
The film opens with a series of mini portraits of the main characters then and now, then moves on to explore in more detail what their response to the Wende was, how the world around them changed, and how the changes affected their own lives. When the Wende came, most couldn’t believe it. One left the GDR with her husband for a honeymoon and returned, shocked, to a new country. Their subsequent fate personifies the GDR’s wider destiny. Winners, losers, passions fulfilled and frustrated. As they watch themselves from 1987, they plead self-censorship hoping at the time to better themselves. And then there was the Treuhand, leading the western takeover.
Today the jobs of 1987 are all but gone. Some will never get over it, but others feel liberated. After assessing what happened to the two workplaces – both were closed down under controversial circumstances – the film ends with the main characters’ reflections on what they have gained and what they have lost.