Konrad Weiss  DEFA  Documentary films     



Dawids Tagebuch    Der Morgen    Die Tür    Ein gelbes Pferd, schnell wie der Wind    erste Liebe    Flammen  
Glühbirnen wachsen nicht am Baum    Ich bin klein, aber wichtig    Ich denk', ich bin 'n Schloß    Ivo Klauck    Rolande    Schatten




Video Janusz Korczak

    Ich bin klein, aber wichtig
    (I'm small, but important)
    Documentary about Janusz Korczak

    Directed by Konrad Weiß
    Screenplay: Walther Petri and Konrad Weiß
    Cinematographers: Gunter Becher and Michael Lösche
    Editor: Ingeborg Marszalek
    Producers: Christina Eggert and Tadeusz Rejnowicz
    DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1988
    44 min. - 35 mm - colour / black and white
    First broadcast:  31st August 1989, Fernsehen der DDR

This is a film-essay about Janusz Korczak, the Jew and Pole, the doctor and educator and writer. A film about a wonderful man. The film goes on the search for a lost time. It is the attempt to come closer to Korczak, and it is a very personal film. He tries a dialogue over the time - always in the knowledge about the terrible guilt of the Germans.

The film shows precious documents: Photographs of Janusz Korczak and his orphanage children, his books and letters. Friends, co-workers and pupils tell about their memories. And the film shows the faces of children - faces from yesterday and faces from today. And places, good places and bad places, the vanished world of Janusz Korczak.

Above all: In the film are quoted his ideas and words, which he wrote about children and for children. It is essential to preserve the memory of Janusz Korczak and his children and their vanished world. Because memory is the mystery of the reconciliation.

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Ivo Klauck, vierzehn Jahre alt, querschnittsgelähmt   
Ivo und Sabine, querschnittsgelähmt
(Ivo Klauck, 14 years old, paraplegic    Ivo and Sabine, paraplegic)
2 Documentaries about young handicapped People

Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche    Photographer: Harald Hauswald
Song: Barbara Thalheim    Tino und Jessica
Editor: Martina Hoffmann    Angelika Arnold
Script Editor: Andreas Voigt    Ev Wittmann
Producers: Regina Lösche and Helmut Gießmann    Rainer Baumert
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1981   1988

The first film tells the story of Ivo Klauck. He is a handicapped boy, 14 years old. To beginning says the boy in the wheelchair: "I would not like to be pitied. I don't need that, the little compassion." The film respects this attitude. It shows the everyday life of Ivo and other young people from the school for handicapped persons in Birkenwerder: The school, the boarding school, the home, the leisure time. Also are shown the distance from non-handicapped persons and the various obstacles, who make their everyday life so heavy.

The first film ends with the communist Jugendweihe (ceremony in which children are given adult social status) of Ivo. The second film - seven years later - begins with the wedding in the church. Sabine, the wife of Ivo, is also paraplegic. When the film was turned, she was unemployed. The two young people aborted their study. Now they are at the beginning of a new period of life. Their home is particularly important for the both.

In focus of attention of the second film are the opinions and attitudes of Ivo and Sabine. They speak about their difficulties in a world, which is often indifferent or hostile.


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Schatten   (Shadows)
Experimental film, using of Graphic-cycle "Schatten" by Martin Hoffmann and the "Sinfonia come un grande lamento" by Udo Zimmermann

Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Special Effects: Rainer Menschik, Hans Moser & Thomas Rosié
Editor: Angelika Arnold
Producer: Rainer Baumert
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1987
9 min. - 35 mm - colour

This short, experimental film reflects the threat of mankind by nuclear weapons. A photography of death in Hiroshima contrasts with expressive film-pictures of present life in Berlin. Together with the graphics "Shadow" by Martin Hoffmann and the music by Udo Zimmermann, creating this documentary pictures a new dimension.


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Rolande. Geschichte und Geschichten   (Roland. Stories and History)
Documentary about Roland-statues

Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Editor: Angelika Arnold
Script Editor: Jutta Diemert
Producer: Rainer Baumert
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1987
27 min. - 35 mm - colour
First broadcast:  24th April 1988, Fernsehen der DDR

In some German cities, particularly in Northern Germany, stone giants stand - the Roland-statues. To their origin and their history the film follows. It begins with the Roland-legend and the Middle High German Roland-song. Stories of some Roland-statues are told in detail.


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erste Liebe  (first Love)
A Film diary

Directed by Konrad Weiß
Screenplay: Steffi Schröder and Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Composer: Thomas Natschinski
Lyrics: Konrad Weiß
Song: Marion Sprawe and Jessica
Sound: Jürgen Abel and Ulrich Fengler
Script Editor: Ev Wittmann
Producer: Rainer Baumert
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1985
65 min. - 35 mm - colour

      Movie Poster erste Liebe

The film-makers went on a discovery journey, longer than one year. It was a discovery journey to the boys and girls of a eighth class. They wanted to know from they: How is that with the love, if you are twelve, thirteen, fourteen? About what do you dream, what would you like? How it is, if you falls in love for the first time? What do the parents think about the first love, what the teachers, what think the others in the class?

In the focal point of the film-diary are standing Claudia and Thomas. She is thirteen and he is seventeen years old. They experience the great luck of the first love. Without shyness they let the film-spectators see a little bit of their happiness.


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Ich denk', ich bin 'n Schloß   (I think, I'm a castle)
Documentary for Children - TV-Series "A special day"

Directed by Konrad Weiß
Screenplay: Gabriele and Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Sound: Jürgen Abel
Editor: Karin Wudtke
Producer: Rainer Baumert
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1983
14 min. - 35 mm - colour

René, a five years old boy, lives on an old, isolated farm in Mecklenburg. The film shows, how René and his sister, his parents and grandparents on the farm live and work. It describe their relationship to the animals, to nature and to the people in the village. René comments the impressive pictures in dialogue with the film-makers.


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Tür in Güstrow Foto (c) by Konrad Weiss

    Die Tür   (The door)
    Documentary about restoration of a baroque door in Güstrow (Mecklenburg)

    Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
    Cinematographer: Heiner Sylvester
    Sound: Kurt Hoy and Hansjürgen Mittag
    Editor: Eleonore Burke
    Producer: Günter Zaleike
    DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1978
    26 min. - 35 mm - black and white

    Foto: © Konrad Weiß 2014

In summer 1978, six pupils from the secondary school in Guestrow, a town in Mecklenburg, have restored a 200 years old baroque door. There was the danger that the door could be destroyed, like as much was neglected by the communists in the old part of town. The film shows the manifold processing steps, which were necessary for the preservation of the door.

But the essential is: The DOOR is a symbol. Its restoration is a allegory for a responsible dealing with the heritage of forefathers. When he is seeing the film, the spectator has freedom to play with form and thoughts. Free associations of thoughts are possible on many different ways.

The film was temporarily forbidden in the GDR.


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Der Morgen   (The Morning)
Adapted from a story by Maxim Gorki

Directed by Konrad Weiß
Screenplay: Bodo Schulenburg and Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Composer: Udo Zimmermann
Sound: Reinhard Helmecke and Henner Golz
Editor: Martina Hoffmann
Script Editor: Ev Wittmann
Producer: Gerhard Radam and Mark Leonowitsch Rushanski
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1981
27 min. - 35 mm - colour
First broadcast:  11th October 1981, Fernsehen der DDR

The pictures to this film were taken in Krasnowidowo, a remote village at Volga river. The Russian writer Maxim Gorki led there a withdrawn life in the year 1888. It's a village, in which the farmers today live still almost in such a way as before one hundred years.

In his narration "Der Morgen" describes Maxim Gorki with poetic strength the beginning of a new day. The music and the film pictures take up his motives. Also were added a few letters, written by Maxim Gorki to the children, and others written from children to him. These texts be illustrated with historical photographs and film documents.


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Dawids Tagebuch   (Dawids' Diary)
Documentary based on Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz

Directed by Konrad Weiß
Screenplay: Walther Petri and Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
Sound: Stefan Edler and Henner Golz
Editor: Rita Blach
Script Editor: Ev Wittmann
Producer: Günter Zaleike, Tadeusz Rejnowicz
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1980
25 min. - 35 mm - black and white / colour

1957 found a woman in the small Polish town Bodzentyn a few exercise-books: The diary of Dawid Rubinowicz. Dawid was twelve years old, when he began his diary entries, 1940, in time of war. Because he was Jew, he was not allowed to go to the school. But courageously he wrote down, what happened in this terrible time. This was his resistance against the Germans. In this way Dawid fought against the fear, and like this he retained his human dignity in the midst of fright and death. Dawids' diary entries was aborted in June 1942. He was murdered a little later with his father and his mother, his brother and his sister in the German extermination camp Treblinka.

This documentary film follows the tracks of the Jewish boy. The exactitude and the plainness, with which Dawid wrote his diary, are very impressing. These notes, which the reality dictated, have high documentary value. They become complete carefully in the film by photographs, film documents and today's pictures of the landscape, in which Dawid has lived.

The Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz was repeated published in German translation. Last by Walther Petri with photos from the film "Dawids' diary".

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    Cover Diary by Dawid Rubinowicz, German edition

    The Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz

    Edited by Walther Petri
    From Polish by Stanislaw Zylinsky

    Verlag Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim, 1996, 2006
    Gulliver Taschenbuch 34
    ISBN 3-407-78034-6

    amazon.de

    For young people over the age of 12


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Glühbirnen wachsen nicht am Baum   (Lightbulbs don't grow in trees)
Documentary for Children - TV-Series "A special day"

Screenplay, Lyrics and Direction by Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Manfred Gronau
Composer: Thomas Natschinski
Song: Barbara Thalheim
Sound: Jochen Huschenbett
Editor: Karin Klöpsch
Script Editor: Ev Wittmann
Producer: Günter Zaleike
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1978
14 min. - 35 mm - colour
First broadcast: 1st February 1979, Fernsehen der DDR

That is a film-portrait of an unmarried woman, a female worker of the lamp-factory in Berlin. Pictures from the working sphere of the young woman are confronted with scenes from her family life. She has three children, whom she educates alone. Always she has to work, and has hardly a free minute for itself. But for their children she has always time.


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Gantulag Foto (c) by Konrad Weiss


    Ein gelbes Pferd, schnell wie der Wind 
    (A yellow horse, fast like the wind)

    Documentary for Children - TV-Series "A special day"

    Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
    Cinematographer: Michael Lösche
    Sound: Rolf Roelke and Z. Dolshinsuren
    Editor: Karin Klöpsch
    Script Editor: Ev Wittmann
    Producer: Bathuu Dashguntew and Karlheinz Haarnagell
    DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme, Berlin, 1977
    14 min. - 35 mm - colour
    First broadcast:  8th January 1978, Fernsehen der DDR


    Foto: © Konrad Weiss


In the east of the Mongolian steppe - in Salchit, the valley of the wind - stand tents and yurts of a geological expedition. German and Mongolian specialists work there. Some of the miners and geologists live there with their families. In the middle of the steppe gives it a small German kindergarten.

But the German children played not with the Mongolian children. Between tents and yurts was an invisible border. But Claudia, a girl from Germany, six years old, had a desire. She wanted also wildly to ride through the steppe like the Mongolian boy Gantulag. Sometimes Gantulag has given her his horse Schar-mor. In this way the children became acquainted with each other, and better to understand.


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Flammen   (Flames)

Screenplay and Direction by Konrad Weiß
Cinematographer: Wolfgang Dietzel
Editor: Monika Schäfer
Diplomfilm. Deutsche Hochschule für Filmkunst (German Academy for Film and Television),
Potsdam-Babelsberg, 1967, 1970
20 min. - 35 mm - black and white

In 1942 had in Berlin, the German capital, a group of anti-fascists the National Socialist exhibition of hate "Das Sowjetparadies" (the soviet-paradise) set into fire. The resistance group consisted predominantly of young Jewish communists. Their head was Herbert Baum, which was a forced labourer in the Siemens company. 21 members of the group became condemned to death. Herbert Baum was murdered during the preliminary investigation.

In this film some survivors of Jewish resistance-fighters report on their courageous operation. They remember their murdered friends' and comrades' in struggle.

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© Konrad Weiss 1967-2014




Books about DEFA Documentaries (in German)


Cover DEFA Dokumentaristen Ingrid Poss, Anne Richter, Christiane Mückenberger
Das Prinzip Neugier
DEFA-Dokumentarfilmer erzählen
(DEFA documentary filmmaker
narrate about her films and work)
Edited by Filmmuseum Potsdam
Berlin, Verlag Neues Leben 2012
ISBN 978-3355017992

amazon.de

Cover Schwarzweiß und Farbe Günter Jordan, Ralph Schenk:
Schwarzweiß und Farbe
DEFA Dokumentarfilm 1946-1992
(Black and White and Colour
DEFA Documentaries 1946-1996)
Edited by Filmmuseum Potsdam
Berlin: Jovis, 1996
ISBN 3-931321-51-7

amazon.de




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