Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


You can call it propaganda or you can call it a tourist-oriented promo film but you are bound to enjoy watching the official version of the life in the 1980 East Berlin and the DDR.

Whether you understand German or not is, indeed, immaterial: the images will speak for themselves. Especially, the omnipresence of objects in three cheerful colours: red, yellow and blue, which you will notice in almost every single scene. Pullovers, T-shirts, prams, casually parked cars and even balloons – they render the filmed situations the air of a Danish toy-maker commercial.

Still, although the real life behind those Potemkin village façades was less colourful than the film-makers wish us to believe, try not to jump to any conclusions.Yes, it was tweaked up, yes, it shows a utopia and, yes, behind those yellow balloons and bunches of red carnations the men in big horn-rimmed glasses and the Stasi were busy turning people´s life into hell.

But many will recognise at least some parts of it as their life, their past, their mothers or fathers on their way to work. It is up to them to judge or criticise what East Berlin was or, indeed, wasn´t. We might disagree but however strong our dissent, let us remember that it is their home we are talking about. And you don´t bad-talk another person´s home.

2 comments on “LEGOLAND

  1. berlioz1935
    May 8, 2015

    This must have been a great country to live in. I wonder why the people tried to run away from it? It must have been too good (to be true)!

    • notmsparker
      May 8, 2015

      I understand the irony, Peter, but not everyone tried to run away from it and not every East Berliner considered it to be a prison. It is too simplistic to say that it was all and only bad. Just as it is a crass oversimplification to claim that there was nothing good about Poland between 1945 and 1989. I lived there, I grew up there. It was my home.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on May 8, 2015 by in architecture, Berlin, EAST BERLIN, FILM, history, history of Berlin and tagged , , , , , .

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