In early December 1965, even before the Central Committee’s 11th plenum, there were signs of problems with Karla. Planned looping sessions were delayed and, as soon as the plenum ended, plans were laid to change the film. The character of the young teacher Karla, who demanded unswerving honesty both from herself and from others, had to be tamed; she had to recognise her mistakes and toe the line. There were discussions about edits, re-shoots and changes to the dialogue. Some of the suggested changes survive in a censored version. It started with the loss of Karla’s dynamic first appearance, an improvised speech about how she views the teaching profession. School director Ali Hirte, a fatherly friend who is more sympathetic to Karla’s escapades than befits his office, becomes an aloof authority figure. Karla’s love of Kaspar, a person whose attitude towards society is unclear, was not to be allowed to end well … The censored version is fragmentary, with breaks and a lack of context in the plot. The film was never completed at the time. It was not until 1990 that it could be reconstructed in its original version and screened.
by Herrmann Zschoche
with Jutta Hoffmann, Jürgen Hentsch, Hans Hardt-Hardtloff, Inge Keller
Germany (GDR 1949 to 1990) -1966