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Der Funktionär

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Director Andreas Goldstein is often concerned with looking at the GDR in a historical context. Recently his adaptation of Ingo Schulze‘s reunification novel “Adam und Evelyn“ gave a differentiated view on the “worker and farmer state.“ A look through the eyes of its residents, free of "Eastalgia" and smoke-filled Stasi rooms. The fact that Goldstein is always looking back at the East German past has to do with his own biography. His father was Klaus Gysi, publishing manager, ambassador, state secretary, and the cultural minister of the GDR from 1966 to 1973. For Andreas Goldstein, he was a father he barely knew. With the help of archival footage and personal memories, TV images, and photo albums, the filmmaker gets closer to the functionary stranger. In public, as well as in private, Gysi often talked about socialist ideas and visions. It‘s hard for Goldstein to believe his father‘s ideals today. A lot of what Klaus Gysi said in front of the camera are the things his son carried with him. The words and images of the father influenced the son Andreas Goldstein. In the film, which had its world premiere at last year‘s DOK Leipzig, he puts it all on the table and reflects on it from a historical perspective – a story that, in his eyes, has often been falsely told and romanticised over the course of time. That‘s also why it was important for Goldstein to make this film. The autobiographical essay is more revealing in its personal observations than in its historical overview. Those who hope to discover new findings about the “unjust nation“ will only find them between the lines. However, DER FUNKTIONÄR is conclusive when it comes to its artistic confrontation with one‘s own heritage.

Lars Tunçay (INDIEKINO BERLIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Deutschland 2018, 72 min
Language: German
Genre: Documentary, Essay Film
Director: Andreas Goldstein
Author: Andreas Goldstein
DOP: Jakobine Motz
Montage: Chris Wright
Distributor: Edition Salzgeber
FSK: 6
Release: 11.04.2019

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