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Were the Earth Not Round, GDR, 1981, English Subtitles.
While studying geology in Moscow, Christiane from East Germany, and Hatem from Syria fall in love and have a child. As they contemplate a future together, they realize that Christiane will not be able to work as a scientist in Syria, but Hatem feels that he must return to his homeland and people. A semi-autobiographical drama by director Iris Gusner.
An epic prduction filmed in the former Soviet Union: Moscow, Astrakhan, Sochi, Samarkand, Kysyl-Kum Desert, Dushanbe, Pamir Mountains, Sukhumi; in the former GDR: Berlin, Erfurt, Weimar and Potsdam.
Film Director Iris Gusner
One of very few women to succeed as a feature film director at the East German DEFA Feature Film Studio, Iris Gusner’s oeuvre is marked by her portrayal of female protagonists. Gusner trained at the renowned VGIK film school in Moscow under Mikhail Romm. After a brief stint with GDR television, in 1970, she moved to DEFA, where she started off as an assistant director to Konrad Wolf on his film Goya (1971). Her much-heralded debut film, The Dove on the Roof, 1973/2010), was banned for showing workers “in distress.” She finally achieved acclaim with her lively portrayal of female workers in All My Girls, 1979, one of her most successful films. Her semi-autobiographical film, Were the Earth Not Round, 1981, was followed by other films focusing on the role and emancipation of women in the GDR. In 2009, Gusner and (West) German film director Helke Sander published a fascinating autobiographical volume entitled Fantasy and Work: A Biographical Dialog.
Director Iris Gusner will introduce the film and be present for Q&A after the screening. She will be accompanied by Ursula Schröter, expert in women’s rights in East and West Germany.
This screening is supported by the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst. and the DEFA-Stiftung and PROGRESS Film-Verleih in Berlin.
For more info call: 203-946-8130 ext 211