Film German Cinema 101: Trace of Stones (Spur der Steine)

Trace of Stones © DEFA-Stiftung Klaus-Dieter Schwarz © DEFA-Stiftung Klaus-Dieter Schwarz

Mon, 03/11/2019

Landmark's West End Cinema

2301 M Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037

An introduction to the film will be provided by Hester Baer, Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland. A discussion will follow the screening.

German Democratic Republic, 1966, 139 min., Director: Frank Beyer, Screenplay: Frank Beyer and Karl Georg Egel

Foreman Hannes Balla is the self-proclaimed king of a massive construction site. His coworkers stick close to him, like musketeers, as long as he makes sure they are paid. But things stop running smoothly when materials get scarce and two newcomers arrive on the site: Kati, a young engineer, and Werner Horrath, the new Party Secretary. Balla’s swaggering, reminiscent of Hollywood gunslingers, melts away as he realizes he is in love with Kati. But Horrath loves the young engineer as well, despite being devoted to his wife and children in Rostock. A love triangle ensues. Things get complicated when Horrath cannot make up his mind and gets entangled in lies, pretending his motives have to do with his work.

Frank Beyer, one of the most important German directors of the postwar period, directed some of Germany’s most powerful and historically significant films. Born in Noblitz, Germany in 1932, he first studied drama in Berlin. He then transferred to the famed Prague Film School (FAMU), where he studied directing alongside Miloš Forman and other promising Czechoslovakian directors. After completing his FAMU thesis film, Zwei Mütter, he joined the DEFA Studios as a freelance assistant director in 1957. Beyer was already an established director for DEFA when he made Trace of Stones in 1966; however, the film was deemed unsuitable and too critical of East German values and subsequently banned. Twenty-three years later, in November 1989, Trace of Stones was shown again for the first time. Beyer died in Berlin in 2006.
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This event is part of the German Cinema 101 film series. German Cinema 101 is part of the project Wunderbar: A Celebration of German Film. From Beloved Sisters to A Coffee in Berlin and Young Goethe in Love, from The Blue Angel to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — we are celebrating German-American friendship with our partner Kanopy by bringing 48 German films to your screens. Goethe-Instituts and Goethe Pop-Ups across the U.S. will take part in the celebration by showing films, organizing film festivals, and inviting German filmmakers to speak.

Are you currently enrolled in a German course at the Goethe-Institut Washington? If so, pick up your free ticket from the front desk today!

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