Source: Exit, DIF
"Identity Kills" (2003)

A young woman wants to live like how the others seem to do. Since her imitating doesn't succeed, however, she chooses the most brutal form of appropriating someone else's personality – she kills a person, slipping into the role that is now made free: In his film "Identity Kills" (2003), Sören Voigt not only delivers a work graphically representing the psychology of a person with weak ego-limits, but, in addition, to this an ironic parable of the pluralistic strokes of liberation, that make German cinema finally and once again a new and exciting place for cineastes.

Source: X-Filme-Creative Pool
The company logo of X-Filme-Creative Pool

 Berlin, August 1994: The three film directors Wolfgang Becker, Dani Levy, and Tom Tykwer team up with film expert Stefan Arndt and found the production company X-Filme Creative Pool. Their goal is to overcome the isolation often plaguing filmmakers, writers and producers. Ten years on, X-Filme has grown immensely, now operating it's own distribution arm X-Verleih as well as making such films as "Lola rennt"("Run, Lola, Run", 1998), which helped establish new German cinema internationally, and recently adding another chapter to their success story with "Good Bye, Lenin!".

Source: Peripher, DIF, © R. Vorschneider
"Marseille" (2004)

In his famous "Introduction to a True History of the Cinema", Jean-Luc Godard spoke of editing as being "utmost important". Here Godard was not only aiming at the role of editing in film making, but also at its relation to the speaking and writing about film, to the discourse of cinema. "One always has to look twice. That's what I mean by editing: simply connecting something. Here lies the incredible power of images and of the sound which belongs to them, or of the sound and the image which belongs to it. All that, their geology, their geography, comprises in my opinion film history, and it remains invisible. Better if it's not shown, it's said." Cinema is a place of connections; of making connections between separate images, between images and sounds, between the public and the screen, and finally between different films in their demarcation and reciprocity to each other.

Source: DIF
Hermann Göring, Adolf Hitler (from left to right) in "Feuertaufe" (1939/40)

"We're here to stay!" was the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' prognosis for the Nazi regime. People were to expect "the National-Socialist movement [to] intervene in the economy and in general cultural affairs, and that includes film." Film was to take on "the contours of the Volk," and only art that "has taken root deep in the bedrock of National Socialism" was to be allowed. With these words, Goebbels pronounced to representatives of the film industry during a speech in the Hotel Kaiserhof in Berlin on March 28, 1933, the principal features of the Nazis' incipient film policy were laid out.

Source: DIF, SDK
Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover in "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" (1920)

Along with New German Cinema, the cinema of the Weimar Republic has had an enormous influence on international perceptions of German film. This first German democratic state, which at the end of the First World War succeeded the imperial regime of Kaiser Wilhelm II, enabled film to emerge as a socially significant art form both despite and because of economic, political, and civil crises. An exceptionally high number of German productions from this Golden Age of cinematography have been accepted into the canon of international film history.


The DEFA Logo

 (based on "Die DEFA-Story" [The DEFA Story] by Hans-Michael Bock)

The name DEFA, reminiscent of the corporate name Ufa, evokes a capitalist production company. All the same, from the outset the DEFA stood for the very opposite, both with its structure, its staff and its productions. The abbreviation for "Deutsche Film AG" (German Film Corporation) denotes East Germany's only official film production organization, which existed from 1946 to its liquidation in 1990 – nearly 45 years, longer than the GDR itself.

Source: timebandits, DIF
"Gegen die Wand" (Head On, 2004)

With his melodrama "Gegen die Wand" ("Head On"), Fatih Akin gave German cinema its first Berlinale triumph since 1986. Winning the Golden Bear and five German Film Awards, Akin's story about a Turkish-German woman put a whole generation of young, non-German film makers and actors into the limelight - despite the fact that they had already been making significant creative contributions to German film for years.