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The Architects (1990) More at IMDbPro »Die Architekten (original title)

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Release Date:
21 June 1990 (East Germany) See more »
The architect Daniel Brenner is in his late thirties when he receives his first challenging and lucrative... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A brilliant depiction of East Germany's final years See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kurt Naumann ... Daniel Brenner
Rita Feldmeier ... Wanda Brenner
Uta Eisold ... Renate Reese
Jürgen Watzke ... Martin Bullat
Ute Lubosch ... Franziska Scharf
Catherine Stoyan ... Elke Krug
Christoph Engel ... Ökonom Endler
Werner Dissel ... Alter
Wolfgang Greese ... Günther Adam
Hans-Joachim Hegewald ... Albrecht Wischala
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl-Ernst Horbol
Thomas Just
Markus Kissling
Roland Kuchenbuch
Andrea Meissner ... Barbara Schneider
Judith Richter
Jörg Schüttauf ... Wilfried Berger
Joachim Tomaschewsky ... Prof. Vesely
René Wünsch

Directed by
Peter Kahane 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter Kahane 
Thomas Knauf  scenario

Produced by
Herbert Ehler .... producer
Original Music by
Tomas Kahane  (as Tamás Kahane)
Cinematography by
Andreas Köfer 
Christoph Prochnow 
Film Editing by
Ilse Peters 
Production Design by
Dieter Döhl 
Costume Design by
Christiane Dorst 
Makeup Department
Klaus Petzold .... makeup artist
Christine Steinfelder .... makeup artist
Production Management
Herbert Ehler .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Irene Weigel .... assistant director
Art Department
Heike Pfeiffenberger .... set designer
Klaus Selignow .... property master
Sound Department
Andreas Kaufmann .... sound
Konrad Walle .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Dietmar Kleist .... assistant camera (as Dietram Kleist)
Christa Köfer .... assistant camera
Klaus Sterz .... lighting technician
Other crew
Christoph Prochnow .... script editor

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Architekten" - East Germany (original title)
See more »
Germany:102 min | Hong Kong:102 min | USA:95 min | Argentina:102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Filming of "The Architects" began on October 2, 1989, just one month before the German Reunification. For the crew, November 9 (the day the Berlin Wall fell), was a regular day at work. Having chosen to ignore ambiguous radio announcements in order avoid getting behind on the filming schedule, they didn't learn of the events until later that evening.See more »
Daniel Brenner:95% of our components are prefabricated.
fellow architect:You take pride in that?
Daniel Brenner:It allows us to impose more ideas for the smallest possible sum.
See more »
Unsere HeimatSee more »


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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A brilliant depiction of East Germany's final years, 22 September 2009
Author: hakof from United States

"The Architects" is a brilliant depiction of life in the final years of East Germany's existence. Intellectuals who are on the verge of middle age are stagnating professionally and suffocating intellectually. They can't talk freely; they can't think freely. They have a burning desire to reform and to improve their little socialist country, but obstacles are everywhere. An older, inflexible generation holds on while paying mere lip-service to youth, progress, and innovation. What will happen? Is change possible?

At 38 years of age, Daniel Brenner is a no-longer-young architect looking for his first big break. One of his former professors decides to help him out and introduces Daniel to an older architect who is now a city-planning administrator and Communist Party official. Daniel is asked to put together a team of "young" architects to enter a competition to design a town center. A team of handpicked architects whom he knew in his college days, they propose a center complete with a post office, grocery story, restaurants, cinema, theater, bowling alley, art gallery, and monuments, all situated in architecture that is innovative for East Germany. It signals a fresh start and a new responsiveness.

But here is where Daniel's problems begin. The very officials who appointed him are resistant to change. The proposal is too expensive, too difficult to build, too innovative, too intellectually honest, too everything. Daniel tries to win them over, but can he make a difference? Meanwhile, members of his team are losing faith in him and in the system. Even worse, as he gives everything to push for the proposal, his personal life is falling apart around him. His wife is bored with the monotony of life in East Germany and resentful about the lost chances in her life. Will Daniel have any achievements in his life, or will he be a professional failure, divorced, and trapped in country that doesn't want his input?

This movie was filmed in and around East Berlin in 1989 and 1990. The scenery is stark and accurate. This movie had the bad fortune to be released as East Germany was falling apart and reunification was underway. Audiences no longer cared to dwell on how stultifying East Germany had been. They wanted to look forward. But 20+ years later, this film is a moving and accurate depiction of what life was like for ordinary, educated people slowly being crushed by The System.

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