Germany 1990 – Director: Sibylle Schönemann – Original language: German – Subtitles: None – Length: 94 min.

When Sibylle Schönemann was arrested in the GDR in 1984 and later "ransomed" by West Germany, she thought she had put the past behind her. But the fall of the Wall tears open the old wounds again. An attempt to come to terms with the past and a gripping contemporary document.

No youth rating


Sibylle Schönemann

After studying directing at the Potsdam-Babelsberg Academy of Film and Television, Sibylle Schönemann worked as an assistant director and dramaturge at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films. She worked on the film INSEL DER SCHWÄNE, among others. In 1984 she applied to leave the country. As a result, she was arrested by the Ministry for State Security in November and later ransomed. After the fall of communism, Sibylle Schönemann attended the congress of the Association of Film and Television Workers of the GDR in 1990. It was here that the idea arose to make a documentary about her time in prison together with DEFA. Sibylle Schönemann has been working as a therapist and mediator since 2003.

Filmography (selection)

INSEL DER SCHWÄNE (youth feature film), GDR 1982, 85 min. (assistant director)


Retrospective 75 Years of DEFA

Eight documentaries from five decades of DEFA film production. We present the retrospective on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the GDR's nationally owned film studio.

Writer: Sibylle Schönemann. Camera: Thomas Plenert. Sound: Ronald Gohlke, Ulrich Fengler. Editing: Gudrun Plenert. Music: Tamás Kahane. Production: DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme. Producer: Bernd Burkhardt, Alfred Hürmer. International Sales: Icestorm Media (Online), DEFA-Filmverleih

Retrospective 75 years of DEFA 2021

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