"An extremely well-researched book. . . . [This] multilayered analysis . . . is a remarkable feat of historical contextualization." -- "Monatshefte"Vom Verlag:
This publication confronts the question of whether movies in the Eastern Bloc were propaganda or secretly veiled dissent. It argues that the answer to the question is decidedly complex. Drawing on newly opened archives with East German directors, actors, and state officials, it traces the change in cinematic depiction of East Germany in response to national political developments and transnational cultural trends. Even as they attempted to answer calls for authentic images of the German Democratic Reopublic that would legitimize socialist rule, filmmakers challenged the regime's self-understanding. From the late 1960s East German films focused on everyday life , no longer seeing it merely as a stage in the development towards Communism. By presenting a static image it could be said that filmmakers helped transform East German identity from one based on a commitment to socialist progress to one that accepted the GDR as it was.
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