DDR/DDR | Chicago Reader


This intriguing 2008 documentary on life in communist East Germany rambles a bit, but its focus on state surveillance is all too relevant today. The secret police used cameras with custom lenses, while citizens were recruited to spy on each other and psychiatrists were sometimes enlisted to drive their patients insane. Director Amie Siegel provides some counterbalance by interviewing Germans who fondly recall the job security of the communist system (there was no “existential fear,” says one). A fascinating interlude shows westerns produced by East German moviemakers that portrayed Indians as good communists and whites as dishonest capitalists—images with a grain of truth. 135 min.

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