Film Streaming
Films Across Borders: The Bicycle (1982), dir. Evelyn Schmidt

The Bicycle - FAB
© DEFA-Stiftung


Please RSVP in order to gain access to this film. The screening link to the film and the password will be sent out on Monday, November 30, at 5:00pm EST via Eventbrite. The film will be available to view until Friday, December 4, at 5:00pm EST. This film will be available across the United States.
RSVP Films Across Borders showcases critically acclaimed films, documentaries and shorts from around the world. Co-presented by American University in partnership with embassy cultural organizations, arts institutions and environmental groups, the series focuses on a distinctive timely and compelling theme each year.

Now in its sixth year, Films Across Borders presents Stories of Resilience and Hope. The 2020 cinematic series features stories of humans and wildlife – and the harrowing and heartfelt challenges they face to survive and triumph in all corners of the world.

We are pleased to share that the 2020 series will be offered in a virtual format. Enjoy film screenings, discussions with filmmakers and topical speakers. Available to all in October through December. 
The Bicycle (1982), dir. Evelyn Schmidt
German Democratic Republic, 1982, 89 min. In color. In German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Evelyn Schmidt.
Susanne is a young, single mother who lives a somewhat alternative, unstructured lifestyle. After quitting her job, she finds herself in trouble financially and attempts a minor insurance fraud to make ends meet.

Despite its rare view of everyday socialism from a woman's perspective, East German officials were critical of this frank portrayal of a less-than-ideal socialist citizen and turned down all invitations for the film to be screened abroad. In West Germany, however, Evelyn Schmidt’s film received much praise for its critical feminist approach.

Evelyn Schmidt, director, scriptwriter, and dramaturg, was born in Görlitz in 1949 and moved to Berlin in 1963. She spent a year as an apprentice with the East German television company and, in 1973, graduated with a degree in directing from the Film and Television Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg.

Schmidt participated in Konrad Wolf's master class at the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin from 1973-1977. From 1977 to 1990 she worked as an assistant director, and later as a director at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films.

Evelyn Schmidt was one of the few female film directors in East Germany. Her DEFA debut film, Seitensprung, was showcased at the Berlin International Film Festival. Critical of her frank portrayal of a less-than-ideal socialist citizen in Das Fahrrad, East German officials turned down all invitations to screen the film abroad and, for three years, Schmidt was not allowed to make another film.

Since 1993, Schmidt has directed documentaries for television and produced thirteen plays at an experimental, “off”-theater in Berlin. She has taught at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg and, since 2003, at the private Drama School in Berlin-Charlottenburg.



Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free Admission