When We Were The Future

87 mins.
Directed by Lars Barthel, Gabriele Denecke, Andreas Voigt, Peter Kahane, Thomas Knauf, Hannes Schönemann, and Ralf Marschalleck
German with subtitles

With Director Andreas Voigt and producer Barbara Etz in person.

Free screening! Amherst Cinema Members can reserve free tickets online. General admission free tickets available only at the Amherst Cinema box office (not online).

In this autobiographical compilation film, seven directors from the East German film studio DEFA remember their childhood in the 1950s and 1960s GDR.

In funny, poignant, and deeply moving stories, each director finds a unique form of storytelling. Using animation, archival material, stylized reenactments, and family photo collections, the filmmakers tell hauntingly intimate stories that at the same time reveal much about growing up in postwar Germany, life in the young, idealist, socialist state, and the perils of memory.

Andreas Voigt was born in Eisleben, East Germany in 1953. After studying physics in Krakow and economics in Berlin, he began work as an editor and scriptwriter at the DEFA Documentary Film Studio in Berlin. He then left to study film at the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg, before returning to DEFA a director and scriptwriter from 1987 to 1991. After the film studio was closed (as a consequence of German unification), he began working as an independent film director, scriptwriter and producer for television, cinema, private German companies and government organizations. His awards include the Silver Wolf at the Amsterdam International Film Festival, the Grand Prix for Documentary at the Festival du Film de Strasbourg, the Grand Prix at the Earth Vision Film Festival in Tokyo, and more. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, the University of Buffalo, the University of Toronto, and the Goethe Institut of India, amongst other institutions.

Barbara Etz is a director, producer, and editor based in Hannover, Germany. From 1983 to 1988 she was a trainee and assistant director with Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi in Poland. Her credits include TIME WILL TELL (editor, 2015), INVISIBLE – ILLEGAL IN EUROPE (producer and editor, 2004), NIE MA (director, 1990), and SO SORRY – CONCRETE DOESN’T BURN (co-director, 1981). Etz has produced and edited a number of films for television, including THE MAHOUTS OF KERALA (2014), SAMUCHA - THE LAST JOURNEY OF A SHEPHERD (2014), KOMI, A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ARCTIC (2007) and SON OF TAIGA (2006).