tommy_leazaq wrote: ↑January 25th, 2019, 2:37 pm
1. Jahrgang '45 - 7 . Nice film but why was it banned? Just because it showed few WWII references?
East Germany were quite proactive in political oppression and anything that veered too far away from a safe "Socialist realism" aesthetic in any art form was usually nipped in the bud pretty early. But in the 1960s the censorship was unpredictable. Konrad Wolf was allowed to make Der geteilte Himmel
(The Divided Heaven
), a film that obviously references the new Berlin Wall in a questioning sense in 1964 (the Wall was not a taboo subject at the time as seen with a few pro-Wall films like ‘...und deine Liebe auch
(1962), but risky), but Konrad Wolf was the shining star that everybody recognized and thus got more leeway. Other filmmakers took chances, perhaps somewhat inspired by what Konrad could do, but it led to 11 films being banned in what was called the 11th Plenum in 1965, including Jahrgang
. Here it was stated by Erich Honecker, later head of the totalitarian state, that:
"[...] The matter is quite straightforward. If we are to increase productivity - and thereby raise our standard of living further - we cannot afford to propagate nihilistic, defeatist and immoral philosophies in literature, film, drama and television. Scepticism and a rising standard of living are ... mutually incompatible."
So the reason Jahrgang
was banned is partly that it was swept up in the censorship wave during the 11th Plenum, started by the more directly political Das kaninchen bin Ich
(The Rabbit is Me
), partly because it didn't suit the Socialist realist aesthetic (it is more neorealist in its dirty sceneries and rubbles), partly because of its gloomy, indifferent mood and a strong feeling og stagnation for youth in the East.
Genreally speaking, films with WWII references were okay as long as the films had a clear anti-fascist message (for example Ich war neunzehn
, Der Untertan
e: this got too long and I see that Mario already responded