AFTER WINTER COMES SPRINGA train journey through the German Democratic Republic in the last year it existed. Starting from the industrial and mining town of Zwickau, Saxony, near where she grew up, Helke Misselwitz heads north, meeting women of different ages and social classes as she makes her way to the Baltic Sea. Some of these meetings were organised in advance, while others took place spontaneously. The landscape and architecture of East Germany, filmed in stern black and white images, form the background to their stories. The women, including two young punks, a coal factory worker, a Berlin economist and an 85-year-old in the middle of celebrating her diamond wedding anniversary, talk about their everyday lives, their hopes and the hardships they face. Their unforced accounts and observations merge to form a kaleidoscope of memories, yearnings and disappointments, providing a vivid portrait of life in East Germany and public feeling there a year before its collapse.