• Strictly Propaganda

    The other side of the wall

  • Strictly Propaganda

    The other side of the wall

  • Strictly Propaganda

    The other side of the wall

Strictly Propaganda

The other side of the wall

by Wolfgang Kissel, C. Cay Wesnigk

Strictly Propaganda

Germany | 1991 | 91:00 min

Original Title:
Kinder Kader Kommandeure

Formal Categories

History Conflicts Politics

Content Categories

Author's film Documentary
the History of the GDR told in a facinating collage of its own propaganda films.
This eye-opening film tells the history of the German Democratic Republic through East Germany's official newsreels and state films.

Compared to Leni Riefenstahl, the East German propaganda machine was comically stiff and inept. But filmmakers Kissel and Wesnigk have excavated the archives of the East German state film studio to discover priceless archival footage that compares to THE ATOMIC CAFE: Walter Ulbricht playing ping pong, the East German version of "Sesame Street," Erich and Margot Honecker dancing their last waltz.

In this fast moving compendium of East Germany's forty years, STRICTLY PROPAGANDA presents beaming workers and perfect children who populate a world so bizarre and surreal that one can't help but to reflect on other forms of propaganda - including our own.

"STRICTLY PROPAGANDA" offers a virtual reality style voyage into a brave new world, a place where housewives tirelessly salvage bricks from bombed-out rubble and children sing sweetly about wanting to join the army some day... Using no narration, interruptions, or other means of breaking the spell, Wolfgang Kissel and C. Cay Wesnigk have strung together a riveting series of vignettes, each of them intended to sway the audience in what now seems laughably clumsy ways... Compressing four decades' worth of manipulation into an hour and a half, this film successfully conveys just how maddening and debilitating such information can be over time." - Janet Maslin, New York Times

"Funny and terrifying... Kissel and Wesnigk do not allow us the comfort of a dismissive sneer, but asks us to remember that 17 million people lived under this system for 40 years. It isn't easy to separate the chuckles from the shudders while watching the film; this is camp that once had the force of law." - Dave Kehr, New York Daily News

"Voice Pick!... A dramatic illustration of Karl Marx's observation that the road to hell is paved with good intentions... a seamlessly straightforward compilation of newsreels and education films from the no longer existent German Democratic Republic, which, assembled by Wolfgang Kissel and C. Cay Wesnigk, makes most sense as a prolonged fiction: IT'S ALL FALSE. The imaginary location is as exotic as Brazil and, in its petrified way, nearly as carnivalesque." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice
Filmfest Hamburg, Message to man, Dok Leipzig, u.a.
Cast and Crew
  • Director Wolfgang Kissel, C. Cay Wesnigk
  • Producer C. Cay Wesnigk
  • Editor Evelyn Kuhnert
Age Rating


Original Languages




World Sales Company
CounterClockWise - C. Cay Wesnigk Film & Archiv
Heisterbusch 3, 23611 Bad Schwartau

Phone: +49 451 282286

Fax: +49 451 282223

Co-Production Company
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Involved Companies
Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig Holstein GmbH
Links / Reference
The film is availiable for donwload to own in the german original and the english dubbed voice version if you follow the "buy movie" link - onlinefilm.org/de_DE/film/3991...
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