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Hollywood Behind the Wall

defa catalog 2004 (341w x 560h, 52 KB)DEFA (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned studios of the former German Democratic Republic, produced over 750 feature films and thousands of documentaries, industrial and educational shorts, as well as numerous animation and children's films, between 1946 and 1992. DEFA makes up a significant segment of German film history, as the former UFA studios of Babelsberg aspired to the status of a national cinema in their own right. The success and failures of this enterprise include works by such major directors as Slatan Dudow, Wolfgang Staudte, Kurt Maetzig, Frank Beyer and Konrad Wolf. Spanning the periods from expressionism and film noir to postmodernism, with battles over new wave modernism, neo-realism and socialist realism in between, the history of DEFA is also a unique and refreshing window to everyday life in "real existing socialism" in East Germany.

Based at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Icestorm Video, which handles the DEFA films, provides a catalog of the films included in the collection.