GOETHE FILMS: The End of Truth
Presented by the Goethe-Institut
From Fritz Lang’s genre-defining silent "Spies" to the Cold War and 21st century terror plots, East and West Germany have been at the centre of international espionage stories for a century. Our perception of good & evil in global conflicts might shift, but questions of identity, beliefs, loyalty, collusion & (self-)betrayal remain. Have we reached “the end of truth” as Leinemann’s recent German film title in our series suggests?
FOR EYES ONLY
("For Eyes Only – Streng geheim", East Germany 1963, 103 min.) written and directed by János Veiczi, starring Eva-Maria Hagen ("Wolf Among Wolves"), Helmut Schreiber ("Trace Of Stones"), Peter Marx ("Morituri"), Marion van de Kamp ("Intrigue And Love"), Ivan Palec ("Valmont")
New digitally restored version!
Preceded by a 1956 GDR newsreel on actual Stasi agent Horst Hesse (the basis of “For Eyes Only“), who infiltrated a West German CIA office.
After the screening, join us in the TIFF Luma Bar for an informal chat with Prof. Gabriele Müller, York U. Her research interests are German film and East German studies. She has published on cinematic discourses on cultural memory and the East German film studio DEFA, including articles such as “Going East, Looking West: Border Crossings in Recent German Cinema” and "Re-Imaging the Niche: Visual Reconstructions of Private Spaces in the GDR."
The most famous and successful spy thriller ever made in the GDR, personally awarded by Stasi Minister Mielke.
"A cleverly directed and well-performed spy thriller." – Lexicon of International Film
"The storyline and the character of Hansen were clearly based on the Western genre in terms of style, tone and tempo." – Zagreb Film Festival
Hansen is a double agent working for the East German secret police. He has infiltrated the American Military Intelligence Division, part of a network planning to invade the GDR. Hansen’s mission is to obtain and bring back classified, top-secret documents. After the cover of several US spies is blown, Hansen’s boss suspects a leak in his own ranks and has Hansen take a lie detector test.
This first East German spy thriller was a great hit with East German audiences. It was loosely based on real events from 1956, but the allegation of a Western plot to attack the GDR was fabricated – in part to justify having built the Berlin Wall two years prior. Some film critics described the film as the answer to the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).
Part of the Goethe-Institut's focus on German film.
by Fritz Lang
by Philipp Leinemann