Wer fürchtet sich vorm schwarzen Mann
Who’s afraid of the Bogeyman?


Documentary. A close-up of Berlin coal carriers from Prenzlauer Berg. No portrayal of worker heroes or progress here. Instead, bright, deeply-felt sketches of rough men and their resolute woman boss.

Helke Misselwitz

Helke Misselwitz was born in Planitz in 1947. From 1978 to 1982, she studied directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Her request to enter the DEFA Studio for Feature Films was refused, so she took other jobs while making short essayistic pieces for the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films. Misselwitz directed films at the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films from 1988 to 1991. When director Heiner Carow accepted Misselwitz as a master student at the East German Academy of the Arts in 1985, she created a key documentary about women in the final years of the GDR, Winter Adé. This film received international critical acclaim and generated much discussion because of the frank way in which it portrayed the real lives of women in socialism. In 2009, Winter Adé was chosen as the title film of a retrospective at the Berlin Film Festival, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. In 1992, Misselwitz directed her first feature film, Herzsprung, followed by Engelchen. Since 1997, she has been a professor of directing at the Academy for Film and Television, recently re-named the Konrad Wolf Film University Babelsberg. In 1992 she got a special mention in “debut film” category at the San Sebastian International Film Festival for her movie Herzsprung.

November, 11th 2020. 7.30 pm
Goethe Institut

Section: German Contemporary Directors


Year of Production: 1989

Running Time: 52’

Country: Democratic Republic of Germany (RDA)

Language: German

Director: Helke Misselwitz

Production Company: DEFA Studio for Documentary Film

Main Festivals and awards: Awarded at Festival Cinéma du réel, Paris (1990). Selected for festival MoMA DEFA- retrospective “Rebels With a Cause“, Doc Lisboa 2019. 2019 Retrospective “Self-Determined and Perspective of Women Filmmakers” at Berlin International Film Festival