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East German poster collection film series

 Series
Identifier: C0208

Scope and Content

These posters document the cinematic heritage of the DDR and represent the films through both abstract works and interpretations of scenes from the films. The posters range in size from 21 x 57.5 cm to 84 x 59.5 cm. Although the posters date from 1947-1995, the majority fall between 1950 and 1990. The collection includes a poster for the 1965 DEFA production of "The Rabbit is Me," which was banned by the DDR as anti-socialist. Another poster for "Your Unknown Brother," a film that was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival, was withdrawn by DDR officials. A poster for "Jacob the Liar," the first and only DDR film to be nominated for an Academy Award in 1975, was not released to the public until 1989. A significant portion of the posters are for films produced outside the former Eastern Bloc, but they often promote socialist concepts or have socialist undertones. For example, one of the posters advertises for "Trading Places," an American film about two wealthy capitalists manipulating the marketplace and their downfall arranged by a homeless black man and a white former employee of the capitalists. Most of the films from other countries are from the former Soviet Union and other Communist countries.

Dates

  • 1947-1995

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There may be restrictions on reproduction - SCRC staff will evaluate on a case by case basis.

Historical Information

The cinema of East Germany is strongly identified with the studio Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA) and the distributor Progress Film Vertrieb, which later became VEB Progress Film Vertrieb, and then Progress Film Verleih. The Soviet Military Administration created DEFA following the end of World War II and the establishment of the military districts that divided Germany. In 1949 the newly formed Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) developed DEFA into a film studio with strict guidelines for creating works that favored socialist prospectives. Even though the strict rules on content limited the number of films created by DEFA, the number of films distributed by Progress Film Vertrieb increased as more and more cinemas opened. By the 1970s, Progress Film Vertrieb distributed films from 30 countries. In addition to distributing films to cinemas, Progress Film Vertrieb also sponsored film festivals.

Extent

3060 posters

Language of Materials

German

Abstract

These posters document the cinematic heritage of the DDR and represent the films through both abstract works and interpretations of scenes from the films. The posters range in size from 21 x 57.5 cm to 84 x 59.5 cm. Although the posters date from 1947-1995, the majority fall between 1950 and 1990.

Arrangement

Arranged by subject and a numbering system.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Thomas Hill in 2009.

Related Material

The East German poster collection contains other series, including the art exhibitions series, performing arts series, culture and science series, and political series.

Processing Information

Processed by Sean Tennant and Alexa Potter in 2010-2011. EAD markup completed by Jordan Patty in 2011. Finding aid updated by Amanda Brent in July 2022.

Processing supported by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Source

Title
East German poster collection film series
Subtitle
Guide to East German poster collection film series
Status
Completed
Author
Jordan Patty
Date
March 12, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Funded in part by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources

Repository Details

Part of the George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center Repository

Contact:
Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax Virginia 22030 United States
703-993-2220
703-993-8911 (Fax)