Film Screening: The Legend of Paul and Paula (Die Legend von Paul und Paula)

Friday July 13, 7 p.m.
at the Wende Museum 
10808 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230

GDR 1973, 106 min., German (with English subtitles)
Director: Heiner Carow, Writers: Heiner Carow & Ulrich Plenzdorf,
Starring: Angelica Domröse, Winfried Glatzeder, Heidemarie Wenzel, Fred Delmare.

The most popular DEFA film ever, Carow’s film explores themes of longing, dreams, and the pursuit of individual freedom.

Paul (Glatzeder) and Paula (Domröse) grew up in the same East Berlin neighborhood, but know each other only in passing. A minor government official whose career is on the up-swing, Paul is stuck in his failing marriage. Paula is a single mother and shop clerk torn between marrying a suitor whom she does not love (but who would provide for her family) and following her heart and seeking true love.

When a chance meeting brings Paul and Paula together, the two fall for each other. For Paula, their passionate love affair is the beginning of a future she has dreamed of. Paul, however, is indecisive and afraid of damaging his social standing with a scandal. As their affair becomes a small neighborhood legend, social pressures threaten to tear the lovers apart. Realizing he may have found the love of his life, and fearing he may lose her forever, Paul is willing to fight for Paula’s love.

Writer Ulrich Plenzdorf and director Heiner Carow winningly portray everyday life in East Berlin in a passionate and off-beat star-crossed love story. Featuring the music of the East German cult rock band, The Pudhys, the film was an immediate hit with young audiences in both East and West Germany, becoming a cult classic.

Presented in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.