July 2019, arsenal cinema

FilmDokument: China in DEFA Documentary Film, 1956–1960

After its foundation in 1949, the People’s Republic of China was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with East Germany.  Before the breakdown in relations between China and the Soviet Union in 1960, which led East Germany to turn away from China too, a total of six documentaries about China were produced at DEFA: STARKE FREUNDE IM FERNEN OSTEN and the weekly newsreel DER AUGENZEUGE document the state visits by Otto Grotewohl and Walter Ulbricht to China in 1955 and 1956. WIR BERICHTEN AUS PAN YÜ (1959) presents the establishment of peoples’ communes in the countryside as part of the “Great Leap Forward”. From the perspective of a former unskilled laborer, GENOSSE SZIAU ERZÄHLT (1960) depicts the path from colonial domination via the war for independent all the way to forced industrialization. (ps) An event by CineGraph Babelsberg and the DEFA Foundation in collaboration with the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv and the Deutsche Kinemathek. Introduction by Qinna Shen (8.7.)