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Hannes Balla is the foreman of a group of building construction workers at the large construction site "Schkona" in the GDR. They spend most of their time working hard and drinking harder - to some they are fun, to some they are a public nuisance. Things get more complicated when the good-looking Kati Klee is employed as a young technician, and the ambitious new Party Secretary, Werner Horrath, aims to boost work efficiency and downsize Balla's ego. Kati slowly warms up to Werner, but is also attracted to Balla's nonconformity. A contemporary movie about work, love, and everything in between.Written by
While at first the film was broadly advertised in East-Germany and drew great anticipation, opposition within the Ministry of Culture (Ministerium für Kultur) grew shortly before its planned release. Posters and other advertisements were removed without further ado, and the conservative newspaper Neues Deutschland was the only one allowed to publish a review. The film's premiere (the show was sold out and Frank Bayer and the main cast were present) was disrupted by audience members shouting denounciations during the screening. The same was true for most of the screenings in Berlin and other cities. It is believed that these protests were secretly organized by the Ministry of Culture, as they resulted in the film disappearing from theaters within three days. "Spur der Steine" was classified as hostile to the party (the SED) and to East-Germany as a whole and was not screened again until October 1989. See more »
A delightful film that is far more truthful about life in GDR than one might expect from DEFA--understandably but unfortunately banned by the government for how thoughtfully and ambivalently it portrays the party. Rather straightforward style, with some wonderful shots but altogether rather conservative and uneventful in terms of camera shots. All the better for the characters and the plots, though, which are compelling enough. Not a trivial love story, though with its cliched moments, it is more poignant and ambiguous and unpredictable than similar DEFA films. Balla is great to watch, and nicely tempers the potential melodrama of Kati and Werner. None of the characters is simpleminded or heroic, all are fleshed out well.
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