Freundschaft! - The Free German Youth Movement
- Flash is required!
Documentary film, 90 min.
Production: HMR Produktion for NDR/WDR/RBB, funded by Filmstiftung NRW
Lutz Hachmeister / Mathias von der Heide
Director of Photography:
Knut Weinrich (NDR), Christian Hinz (WDR), Jens Stubenrauch (RBB)
Ufuk Genc, Janosch Benz
Premiere: June 22, 2008, at the Filmfest München
First broadcast: July 28, 2009, ARD
Rerun: April 19, 2012, RBB
Winner of the German Television Award as Best Documentary 2009
Freundschaft! The Free German Youth Movement shows the coming of age of a now-failed nation, the German Democratic Republic, through the eyes of its expansive youth group, the Free German Youth (FDJ). Once a substitute family for German post-war children, the FDJ was crafted into a tool of indoctrination for the nation’s Communist ruling party, the SED. Forgoing narration, the film relies on interviews with three generations of FDJ members to tell the history, evolution and demise of this political scout group. Current German parliamentarians, rock stars and journalists recall their joy of first slipping into the club’s blue uniform, the mind-numbing drill of FDJ summer camps and the ultimate disappointment at discovering they had become little more than a tool of the Politburo.
It's a great film the authors Lutz Hachmeister and Mathias von der Heide are delivering. Painstakingly researched, conclusively documented and told in perfect dramaturgy.
(Focus, July 29, 2009)