Cover

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Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotation

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

In the opening sequence of Egon Günther’s 1972 film, Der Dritte [Her Third], the viewer watches the female protagonist, Margit, at work as a mathematician in a computer engineering lab. Overlaid with a blue filter, the camera captures the lab and the engineers—equal numbers of men and women—in medium shots, in discussion while working with the computers that fill the room. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

During my gap year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Göttingen from 1996–1997, I was invited to participate in a weeklong seminar on East German women, offered by the Fulbright Program. The seminar, populated by other young female Fulbright assistants, focused on the history of women’s experiences, women’s literature, and films about women in the context of East German socialism. ...

Note on Translation

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pp. xxi-xxii

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Introduction: Rescuing History from the Ruins

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pp. 1-40

Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist cinema is a specter that continues to haunt Europe. While the East German studio system, the Deutsche Filmaktiengesellschaft (German Film Corporation—DEFA), is widely studied by colleagues in the fields of German and Cinema Studies, for the majority of the contemporary movie-viewing population, ...

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1. Happily Ever After? The Emancipatory Politics of Female Desire in Lot’s Wife

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pp. 41-84

The emergence of DEFA’s women’s films represents one particular piece of a larger shift in European cinematic history of the postwar period. While I will situate DEFA primarily within the East European and West German contexts in the chapters that follow, it is imperative to consider how DEFA’s aesthetic and political engagements of the mid-1960s, the period from the thaw into the freeze, ...

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2. The Lonely Woman? (Re)production and Feminine Desire in The Bicycle and On Probation

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pp. 85-140

Films about mothers and daughters frequently populated the screens of both the Eastern and Western bloc countries in the 1970s and 80s. E. Ann Kaplan suggests that films about motherhood often function as part of a larger cultural discourse that “emerges to take care of threatening social changes” at particular sociohistorical moments involving shifts in the cultural meanings of gender.1 ...

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3. Pleasure in Seeing Ourselves? All My Girls

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pp. 141-194

During the 1970s and 80s, women’s work, women’s emancipation, and female collectivity became a central concern for East and West European cinemas. With the increased entry of women into the workplace—as a result of the women’s movement in the West and state-instituted emancipation “from above” in the East— ...

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4. Real Women: Goodbye to Winter and the Documentary Women’s Film

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pp. 195-222

How do we see and understand documentary? If we cannot rely on the images and the narrative to provide us with “authentic” and “truthful” representations of “real” history, then what do we make of documentary? This has been the question at the center of most international debates on documentary since the 1970s. ...

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Conclusion: After the Fall

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pp. 223-232

This project began with the question of absence—why has so little research been done on DEFA Frauenfilme, given the explosion of research on DEFA in the past twenty-five years? While there are myriad possible reasons, I have attempted to frame an answer by suggesting that the politics of gender are both at the center of the films’ social critique and their exclusion from contemporary research. ...

Notes

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pp. 233-258

DEFA Filmography

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pp. 259-260

Works Cited

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pp. 261-274

Index

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pp. 275-280

About the Author

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