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East Side Story (Sozialistische Musicals)

East Side Story

A feature-length documentary about an unknown realm of movie history. As a whole, the Iron Curtain countries were not known for their gaiety or joie de vivre, but between the cracks of stark Socialist realism, there somehow appeared a few films that offered their audiences escape, hope and hit songs - served up with color, elaborate sets, extravagant musical numbers and, sometimes, even Cinemascope and stereo sound. Were socialist musicals merely a way to make propaganda entertaining? Was it possible to portray socialist realism in a genre that was considered "the most flagrant offspring of the capitalistic pleasure industry? Is it possible that in this seemingly no-win situation some good films were actually made?


Dana Ranga was born in Bucharest and has been living in Berlin since 1987. She studied at the Free University in Berlin and graduated with a M.A. on DEFA musicals. In 1991, she was one of the founders and editorial staff of the Berlin local TV channel FAB and worked the following year on the production of Business for Friends and Beruf Neonazi. She has worked on programs for ORB and Deutschlandradio. Her films include: the shorts On the Move (1992) and Einzelgaenger (1994), both made in collaboration with the Dutch dancer and choreographer Gonnie Heggen, the feature-length documentary East Side Story (1997), and Story (2003).
Genre Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 1996
Director Dana Ranga
Screenplay Dana Ranga, Andrew Horn
Cinematography Mark Daniels
Guido Krajewski
Cast Maya Turovskaya, Karin Schroeder, Chris Doerk, Frank Schoebel
Producer Andrew Horn
Production Company Anda Films/Berlin, in co-production with WDR
Length 78 min
Format 35 mm, color, b&w
Original Version
 German/English/Russian/Rumania
Subtitled Versions English, German
Sound Technology Dolby
Festivals Sundance 1997
With backing from Canal+, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, MAP-TV

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