In an interview with Dorett Molitor, Gert Golde, the last General Director of the DEFA Studio for Feature Films, reports on his more than 30 years of work for DEFA, looks back on his experiences and people and explains the background of the studio's development. The story spans from his childhood in Dresden during the war and post-war years and his studies at the young German Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg to his beginnings as a production manager in the studio, his work as a production manager with Slatan Dudow, Günter Reisch and Herrmann Zschoche, his years as director of economics and production and his time as managing director after the privatisation of DEFA in the early 1990s.
The interview provides revealing insights into the structures, work processes and everyday problems of a complicated production apparatus between cultural mission and plan fulfilment. At the same time, it vividly illustrates the profound impact that events such as the 11th plenary session of the ZK of the SED and the Biermann affair had on the work of the feature film studio. The dramatic upheavals between 1989 and 1991 occupy a large space. Gert Golde is the first person directly involved to describe in detail the stubborn but unsuccessful efforts to save DEFA and continue its work as a production company in an united Germany. Selected documents, especially on this complex, supplement and deepen his descriptions.
Gert Golde, born in Dresden in 1937, began working as a production manager at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films in 1959 after completing his studies at the German Academy of Film Arts (specialising in film production) and became production manager in 1962. After holding positions as chief economist and director of economics, he was director of production from 1971 to 1989. From September 1989 he headed the feature film studio as general director or managing director until its privatisation in 1992.
Dorett Molitor, born 1963 in Berlin, was head of the programme department at Filmmuseum Potsdam from 1990 to 2007 and has been head of the collection since 2008. She was involved in the publications "Das Prinzip Neugier. DEFA documentary filmmakers narrate" (2013), "I was always a player. Egon Günther" (2013) and "Alles nur Kulisse?! Film Spaces from the Babelsberg Dream Factory" (2015).