Cinema Europa / 11th May / 16.00

… und Deine Liebe auch (Frank Vogel, 1962)

It’s fitting that DEFA’s first fiction feature film on the Anti-Fascist Protection Wall’s erection would turn out a zenith of GDR-style Modernism, a paean to the power of the real experienced with the utmost immediacy – this, indeed, is a work that could only be made in a film culture where direct cinema was considered of prime aesthetic-ideological importance, as it was in the GDR. Most striking is the film’s production history: The project was already in preparation when on August 13th work on the Wall started; Vogel decided to change the story around, synch it with current affairs – and thus began shooting without a finished screenplay; therefore, parts of the film got improvised, with various scenes being shot using a hidden camera. Everybody involved with …und Deine Liebe auch understood, it seems, that they were making history – in more than one sense: They recorded events as they unfolded while creating the official narrative that would explain them for future generations. Fittingly, ...und Deine Liebe auch offers a most intriguing stylistic mix: Parts of the film have a rough, raw and rude vérité-edge, others dazzle due to their will for Socialist Realist-stylization – for this is very much a film about heroes, people standing by their nation and its ideals; some might waver, a few even fall, but the majority, the film suggests, is with the party and their stated aims: to cut the GDR off from disturbing influences (ie. the FRG). That things were more complicated in reality is another matter.