Germany 66

Apr 5–16, 2016


The Letter. 1966. West Germany. Written and directed by Vlado Kristl. Courtesy of Filmmuseum München. © Pepe und Madeleine Kristl

In 1966, change was in the air in both East and West Germany. A new generation of filmmakers was breaking with commercialism in the West and party doctrine in the East by adopting a more personal approach to cinema and a more direct relationship with social reality. In the West, “Young German Film” began to gain attention at international festivals—including awards at the Berlin festival for Peter Schamoni’s No Shooting Time for Foxes, at Cannes for Volker Schlondorff’s Young Törless, and at Venice for Alexander Kluge’s Yesterday Girl. In the East, policies at DEFA, the state film studio, relaxed long enough to allow several daringly frank films to be made—including Jürgen Böttcher’s Born in '45, Herrmann Zschoche’s Carla, and Frank Beyer’s *Trace of Stones*—although most of them were quickly banned, and did not resurface until the thaw of the late 1980s.

Although a wall stood between them, the cinemas of East and West Germany approached significantly similar themes: the position of women in society, the state of the married couple in a changing culture, and the fate of outsiders and outcasts, as a generation born after the war grew up rejecting the conformist values of their parents. This series, organized by the Deutsche Kinematek for the 2016 edition of the Berlin Film Festival, provides an overview of that pivotal moment.

Organized by Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, Department of Film, MoMA; Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, MoMA; Rainer Rother, Artistic Director, Deutsche Kinemathek; Connie Betz, Curator and Program Coordinator, Deutsche Kinemathek; and Julia Pattis, Publications, Deutsche Kinemathek.

Special thanks to DEFA Foundation, Berlin; DEFA Film Library, UMass Amherst; Deutsche Kinemathek; Deutsches Filminstitut; Edgar Reitz Filmstiftung; Filmmuseum Munich; Kairos Film; German Films; Madeleine and Pepe Kristl; Christian Rischert; Seitz Filmproduktion; and Transit Film.



If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].