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Goodbye in Berlin

The best German films at this year's Berlin film festival came from the former East Germany. They tell simple, sometimes tragic tales of everyday life. Sarah Gellner fears that they could be the last gasp of a great tradition

By Sarah Gellner   April 1996

There’s no difference,” declared Frau Kleinert, “between films by directors from the former East Germany, and those from the former West Germany. It is all one now.” She is a publicity agent for Progress Film Verleih and, of course, what she says is the official version. Perhaps it had been a bit of a faux pas on my part to bring up the distinction at all.

“But surely,” I persisted, “the diversity of experiences, the different histories, will find expression in the work of directors, script writers and so on?” And, warming to my theme, “I have seen a couple…

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