DDR 1982, D, E, S Chetna Vora, C Thomas Plenert, Peter Badel, P Anita Vanderhertz, Print b/w and colour, SD-File from VHS, 139 min, German OV

Guests: Gudrun Plenert, Thomas Plenert, Tamara Trampe

In long takes with few cuts, women talk about their lives. All the conversations are shot in interior rooms, attesting to trust and great candour. They talk about work, relationships, what’s left of the day, and families – which is naturally political. A common theme of the discussions is the relationship between dreams and reality, and possibly their inkling that a lasting, happy relationship with a man is just as unlikely as the happy future of the Workers’ and Farmers’ State, the GDR. Chetna Vora began studying directing at the HFF Babelsberg in 1976. Frauen in Berlin would have been her first feature film; however, the HFF broke off production before it was finished, and the negative material was largely destroyed. What remains is a rough version that was secretly filmed on video beforehand, an invaluable and candid document, especially in this form.  In 1983, Chetna Vora moved to India with her life partner Lars Barthel and their daughter. She died in 1987.  (Tobias Hering, Begleittext zur Filmreihe In deutscher Gesellschaft. Passagen-Werke ausländischer Filmemacher*innen 1962–1992, 2018)

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