Last to Know

Director: Marc Bauder & Doerte Franke

Germany| 2005. Subtitled. Colour. Digital Video. 72 min.

It’s estimated that the former East German government took 250,000 political prisoners—ordinary people who were wrenched from family and friends and locked up for speaking or acting in a manner that annoyed the authorities. Marc Bauder and Dorte Franke’s deeply felt documentary looks at the lives of three German families from the former GDR that had one or more members imprisoned. A tour guide, a writer, a priest and his wife spoke their minds and paid the price. The ‘last to know’ about the humiliations and the physical and psychological abuse they suffered are their own children. Bauder and Franke bring these families together and, gently but persistently, get the former captives to reveal their experiences and listen to how their families dealt with their imprisonment. The result is a moving film that shows once again how honest communication can bring resolution to seemingly insoluble situations.

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