Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde

Roughly 100 kilometres from the Polish border lies the German hamlet of Bärwalde. In the early 1980s, Gautam Bora, an international student at the University of Film and Television in Babelsberg (HFF), made the region his subject for Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde, capturing a precise moment in its annual farming season.
Stylistically, the film adheres to the HFF’s then-established commitment to social realist documentary, portraying daily life in East Germany in a television-friendly style guided by an admirable clarity of vision. Bora and cinematographer Marwan Salamah’s attention to detail also adds a subtle, indelible sense of the poetic. Throughout we see images of hands, tools, fabrics or the specific crops that have received care for the previous several months, each quietly communicating as much about life and labour as the first-person interviews they appear alongside. Such directorial sensitivity is equally seen in the space the film offers to not only the men but also the women, working with equal dedication inside the home or the adjacent barnyards.
by Gautam Bora German Democratic Republic 1983 German 29’ Colour Documentary Form | Restored by the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF


Director Gautam Bora
Screenplay Dieter Schumann, Gautam Bora
Cinematography Marwan Salamah, Mousa Maragha, Tony Loeser
Editing Gerda von Dorszewski
Sound Horst Schandy, Rainer Mischke
Producer Hans-Jürgen Groschupp

Produced by

Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen der DDR

Additional information

Restored by the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF

Gautam Bora

Born in Guwahati, Assam, India in 1953, he studied art before moving to Europe, where he studied film directing at the HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg between 1976 and 1983. It was here that his short film Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde was made in 1982. Afterwards he worked as an actor and director. His film Wosobipo was shown at the Berlinale Forum in 1991. Today, Gautam Bora is a well-known Indian politician.


1983 Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde; 29 min. 1986 Weavers of the Golden Thread 1988 Pratham Ragini 1991 Wosobipo (The Cuckoo's Call); 138 min. 2003 Sons of Abotani: The Missings

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023