November 2013, arsenal cinema

FilmDocument: The Sorbs in GDR cinema

In the 1950s, a variety of films – ethnographic and cultural amateur films, documentaries and film chronicles – of the only ethnic minority in the GDR, the Sorbs, were made. The political direction was as obvious as the attempt to precisely capture ancient customs on color film and to integrate them into the "new era". Amateur films preserved a more objective gaze, on the famous Easter riders parade in Wittichenau for example. Many of the films were screened in the cinemas and used as teaching materials in schools, shaping the image of this culture. A production group called "Sorbischer Film" was set up as part of the DEFA studio for cartoons in 1979, which intensified the official appraisal. However, the films themselves also developed alternative ways of perceiving the Sorbs. (hp, rf) A CineGraph Babelsberg event in conjunction with the Sorbian Institute in Bautzen. (11.11.)