After Winter Comes Spring

After Winter Comes Spring
dir. Helke Misselwitz/German Democratic Republic/1988/117 min.
Kinoteka, sala 2

“After Winter Comes Spring” is a collective portrait of East German women and girls across generations, beautifully photographed on black-and-white 35 mm film. Helke Misselwitz begins her film in the first person, relaying the story of her life over  images of her birthplace. From there, she undertakes a journey that goes far beyond her own autobiography, traveling from one end to the other of the GDR, a country that would soon cease to exist. “I know many women whose longings and anxieties I share,” she says in voice-over as she sets out “to see how others have lived and how they want to live”. Through a series of intimate conversations that bridge the “I” and the “we”, “After Winter Comes Spring” challenges official narratives of gender equality under socialism, installing in their place a polyvocal account of female experience that foregrounds contradiction, individuality, and historicity on the eve of an immense sociopolitical transformation.

(Erika Balsom)


  • projection time:
    117 min.
  • country/year:
    German Democratic Republic /1988
  • director:
    Helke Misselwitz
  • pictures:
    Thomas Plenert
  • editor:
    Gudrun Plenert
  • production:
    Herbert Kruschke, Peter Mansee / DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
  • music:
    Mario Peters
  • sound:
    Eberhard Pfaff, Ronald Gohlke, Peter Pflughaupt
  • festivals and awards:
    1988 – Doc Lepzig: Silver Dove, 2023 – Toronto IFF

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