“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.
German Democratic Republic /1988
Herbert Kruschke, Peter Mansee / DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Eberhard Pfaff, Ronald Gohlke, Peter Pflughaupt
festivals and awards:
1988 – Doc Lepzig: Silver Dove, 2023 – Toronto IFF
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