German days on screen in Colombo

The German Embassy in Colomboin collaboration with the Goethe Institute is organising a film series to mark the 50th year since the construction of the Berlin Wall, a powerful symbol of division during the cold war.

After the end of world war II, a 160 kilometre-long, military patrolled border split the city of Berlinin two parts, separating families, friends and neighbours from one another, and severing entire streets, water connections and public transport links. The initial barbed wire barriers were gradually replaced by a border system made up of several layers, including walls, expanded metal fences, and the so-called “death strips” with their watchtowers, tank traps and other martial barrier elements. This became known worldwide as the “Berlin Wall”. After 28 years, on 9 November 1989, the wall fell as a result of the peaceful revolution of the citizens of Eastern Germany.

Three films giving an insight into how this physical and psychological barricade shaped the lives of those who lived around it will be presented at the Goethe Institute Auditorium.

The program is part of a cultural week titled ‘the German Days’

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Sonnenallee ( 86 min, col, english sub.)

A group of kids grow up on the short, wrong (east) side of the Sonnenallee in Berlin, right next to one of the few border crossings between East and West reserved for German citizens. The antics of these kids, their families, of the “West German” friends and relatives who come to visit, and of the East German border guards, all serve to illustrate the absurdity of everyday life on the Sonnenallee, and therefore throughout the former East Germany.

(Venue: Goethe-Hall ; Date: 05 November, 6.30 p.m) 

Die verschwundene Grenze (The vanishing border – 80 min, col, english sub.)

THE VANISHING BORDER is a fascinating exploration of the death strip that surrounded formerWest Berlin. What do those who live there remember after the fall of the wall?

Many incredible but authentic stories. Materials from formerly classified documents of the NVA, private images, stories and anecdotes of residents of the border present a multi-facetted picture of the worlds once most perfect border security system.

(Date: 7 November, 6.30 p.m.Venue: Goethe-Hall)

Das Leben der Anderen ( The Life of Others – 132 min, col, English sub.)

In 1984East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

(Venue: Goethe-Hall : Date: 9 November, 6.30 p.m. With an introduction by the German ambassador H.E. Jens Uwe Plötner)

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