Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Berlinale Classics

Die Russen kommen

The Russians are Coming

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It’s the spring of 1945 in a small resort town on the Baltic. Günter is 16 and firmly believes that the Germans will win the war. During the hunt for a forced labourer who is on the run, Günter catches him and watches as he is shot to death. He proudly accepts the award of an Iron Cross before being shipped to the nearby front as part of the last contingent of troops. He is quickly captured by Soviet soldiers, but manages to escape and return home. When the town is occupied by the Red Army, Günter is arrested for the murder of the forced labourer … For Günter, “the least guilty among the guilty” (Carow), the day that became “liberation day” in East Germany is a catastrophe that leaves him thoroughly confused. But a film about fascism without an anti-fascist hero was unacceptable. Die Russen kommen was banned in 1968 before it was completed, and a large portion of the negative was later destroyed. It wasn’t until 1987 that the film was reconstructed and finished using material from various work prints and trims. Even after restoration, the ban left visible signs on the material. – A world premiere of the digitally restored version in 2K DCP.

Germany (GDR 1949 to 1990) 1968/1987, 90 min


Heiner Carow


Gert Krause-Melzer
Viktor Perewalow
Dorothea Meissner
Norbert Christian