Film still for "Lotte in Weimar"

Start in Moscow

Directorial Students of the Moscow Film Academy Remember

German Title: Start in Moskau. Regiestudenten der Moskauer Filmhochschule erinnern sich

336 Pages, 18 Images
Paperback, 14,8 x 21 cm

Price: 20,00 Euro (plus shipping)
ISBN 978-3-86505-414-2
Obtainable at: Bertz+Fischer Verlag

The Book

Youth, the belief in one's own talent and in great films - the book tells the story of directing students from various nations who studied at the Moscow Film Academy WGIK in the 1960s, and of their teachers Mikhail Romm, Sergei Gerasimov and Roman Karmen. It tells of the atmosphere of those years in Moscow, the Cold War, the ideological "thaw" under Khrushchev and how these liberalizations were reversed under Brezhnev.
In addition to the author, her friends from her studies have their say: their memories of their families, their childhood and their lives up to their studies at the film school give the reader an insight into the culture and history of their countries.
Four directors and the author also talk about their careers after graduation and about the social and political circumstances under which and about which they made their films: in the GDR, in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, in Poland and in Russia. Her professional self-portraits span a wide range of topics up to the present day. Thus the book is also a report on contemporary history and fates, on emigration and interrupted professional careers. First and foremost, however, it is a grateful reminder of the Moscow Film Academy and its teachers.

Iris Gusner during the shooting of ALL MY GIRLS (1979) Photography: Wolfgang Ebert

Iris Gusner with cameraman Roland Dressel during the shooting BAILING OUT (1983) Photography: Wolfgang Ebert

The Author

 Iris Gusner, born 1941 in Trautenau (today Trutnow, Czech Republic), began working for DEFA in 1969 after studying directing at the Moscow WGIK, including as assistant director for Konrad Wolf. Her feature film debut The Dove on the Roof (DIE TAUBE AUF DEM Dach) from 1973 was banned; it was only in 2009 that the DEFA Foundation rediscovered and reconstructed a working version.

Iris Gusner only made contemporary films apart from the fairytale film The Blue Light (DAS BLAUE LICHT,1976), e.g. ALL MY GIRLS (ALLE MEINE MÄDCHEN, 1980), Were the Earth Not Round (WÄRE DIE ERDE NICHT RUND, 1981), or BAILING OUT (KASKADE RÜCKWÄRTS, 1984). In the summer of 1989 she did not return to the GDR from a private trip to Cologne; after that she shot the film SOMMERLIEBE for NDR, among others. Together with Helke Sander she published the book "Fantasie und Arbeit. A biographical dialogue".

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