Herzsprung, a village in Brandenburg, just after reunification. Factory cook Johanna loses her job and soon after becomes a widow when her husband kills himself. The mother of two small children gets new energy from her friend Lisa, a hairdresser, and her feelings for an African-German who runs a snack bar at the edge of town. But while Johanna’s father, a concentration camp survivor, enjoys a late-in-life new love, Johanna and her boyfriend become the target of young neo-Nazis… For her narrative debut, DEFA documentary filmmaker Helke Misselwitz joined with Thomas Wilkening to found one of the first private East German film production companies. Developed and shot against the background of xenophobic attacks in Rostock and Hoyerswerda in 1991/92, Herzsprung displayed a keen feel for the mood during unification’s radical social upheavals, as well as a sense of historical consciousness. As one of very few East German contemporary films, it was – aesthetically, feminist, inter-cultural – completely in tune with its time. Consciously playing on “ostalgia”, it employed eastern European songs from “Russian discos” and references to motifs from old DEFA fairy tale films.
by Helke Misselwitz
with Claudia Geisler, Günter Lamprecht, Eva-Maria Hagen, Nino Sandow, Tatjana Besson
Germany 1992 German, Subtitles: English 84' Colour Rating R12


  • Claudia Geisler
  • Günter Lamprecht
  • Eva-Maria Hagen
  • Nino Sandow
  • Tatjana Besson
  • Ben Becker
  • Hanns Zischler


DirectorHelke Misselwitz
ScreenplayHelke Misselwitz
CinematographyThomas Plenert
EditingGudrun Steinbrück
MusicZubin Mehta
SoundPaul Oberle
Production DesignLothar Holler
CostumesUrsula Wolg
Make-UpLothar Stäglich
ProducerThomas Wilkening

Additional information

DCP: DEFA Film Distribution in the Deutsche Kinemathek


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