Born in '45 (1990) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • DDR film from the mid-60s: Li and Al, not long married, want to divorce. They feel trapped in their marriage and in their one-room apartment. They long for an unconventional, meaningful life, but the search for meaning confounds them.

  • The only feature film by the painter and documentary filmmaker, Juergen Boettcher. Inspired by the Italian neo-realists, he developed a sensitive style characterized by accurate social observations and poetic verse. This film tells the story of Al and Li, a married couple living in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. They have only been married for a couple of months but decide to divorce. Alfred, a motorcycle enthusiast, especially pushes for the divorce. He fears losing his independence and freedom to experiment. Alfred takes a couple days off to clear his head, and rides through Berlin meeting friends and strangers. The fact that he ultimately returns to Lisa is possibly a good omen, but the ending remains open. Born in '45 was caught in a wave of politically motivated film bans in the summer of 1966 and was not allowed to be shown. The film was described by an official as "indifferent and insignificant." Boettcher chose settings that were "gloomy, unfriendly, dirty and neglected. Characters and surroundings were created to reflect more a capitalist view of life as opposed to a socialist view of life." Only in the spring of 1990, when the film was shown in cinemas, were the true beauties of the film discovered: its rhythm, its lacunae, its disposition. Juergen Boettcher grasped the life of 20-year-olds in Prenzlauer Berg with social and regional exactness and was able to translate it into an elementary world language.


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