Film still for "Lotte in Weimar"

The Bolschevik

Michael Tschesno-Hell and his DEFA Films

German Title: Der Bolschewist. Michael Tschesno-Hell und seine DEFA-Filme

Ralph Hammerthaler
176 Pages, 32 images
Paperback, 14,8 x 21 cm
Price: 12,90 Euro (plus shipping)
ISBN: 978-3-86505-409-8
Obtainable at: Bertz+Fischer Verlag

The Book

Michael Tschesno-Hell became famous in the GDR with films about Ernst Thälmann and Karl Liebknecht for which he wrote the scripts. In addition he had founded the publishing house "Volk und Welt" and appeared as a partly dreaded cultural functionary. His life and work contain a stimulating piece of contemporary history. As a convinced communist, he joined the KPD at a young age. He emigrated to Paris, Switzerland, where he published the refugee magazine "Über die Grenzen" together with Hans Mayer and Stephan Hermlin.

Ideologically, he was unable to adapt the once acquired concepts of his perception of the world to new realities. He placed loyalty to the party, first to the KPD, then to the SED, above everything that hindered him artistically. Today his films are frivolously dismissed as pure propaganda, but they are, strictly speaking, political romances. With The Captain Of Cologne (DER HAUPTMANN VON KÖLN, 1956) directed by Slatan Dudow he also succeeded with a bitterly angry satire on militaristic tendencies in the young Federal Republic.

Samples (in German):

The Author

Ralph Hammerthaler, born on December 2nd 1965 in Wasserburg am Inn, lives as a writer in Berlin. He published the novels "Alles bestens" (2002), "Aber das ist ein anderes Kapitel" (2007), "Der Sturz des Friedrich Voss" (2010) and "Komplizen" (2016), as well as - plays and opera libretti. In 2006/2007 he was guest dramaturg at the Berlin Schaubühne; he is Socio Honorario of the Teatro Sombrero Azul in Mexico City.

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