A complex synopsis of feature films and television narratives from the GDR, reflecting the relationship with Poland's neighboring country at the time - stories between self-affirmation and thoughtful observation. Some little-known as well as rediscovered films provide insights into both a difficult view of the past and the everyday life of a precarious neighbourhood. Stereotypes with regard to the neighbor become clear, but also uncomfortable insights in then controversial and censored DEFA feature films such as THE KEYS (DIE SCHLÜSSEL, 1973) or HELD FOR QUESTIONING (DER AUFENTHALT, 1982). The book reconstructs the cooperation in co-productions between DEFA and GDR television with Polish partners, e.g. in COPERNICUS (1972), Signals - An Adventure In Space (SIGNALE - EIN WELTRAUMABENTEUER, 1970) or MARIE GRUBBE, and also presents practice films by students at the Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
Thomas Heimann, born 1959, media historian and pedagogue, worked temporarily as a research assistant at the universities of Mannheim and Leipzig, at the Centre for Contemporary History Research in Potsdam and at the Filmmuseum Potsdam. His publications on the film and television history of the GDR include: "Bilder von Buchenwald. Die Visualisierung des Antifaschismus in der DDR (1945-1990)", "DEFA, Künstler und SED-Kulturpolitik. Zum Verhältnis von Kulturpolitik und Filmproduktion in der SBZ/DDR 1945 bis 1959"; he is co-author of "Schwarzweiß und Farbe. DEFA-Dokumentarfilme 1946-92", published by Filmmuseum Potsdam.