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If They Haven't Passed Away... The Children from Golzow (Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind... Die Kinder von Golzow)

If They Haven't Passed Away... The Children from Golzow
Scene from "If They Haven't Passed Away... The Children from Golzow" (photo © Junge/Pudszuweit)

When the chronology of the Children of Golzow began, the school in the Oderbruch provided ten-year schooling. In the meantime, there are not enough children, and the building will only be used as an elementary school in the future. In those classrooms that have become empty there is now a small museum housing a permanent film exhibition about the Children of Golzow. In their new work, Barbara and Winfried Junge relate the lives of five people from Golzow, who all belong to a generation now 50-years-old or more: Ilona and Winfried, who were so politically committed, and Juergen, Petra and Christian, with whom the filmmakers lost contact for a while. Leaps in time, gaps in the individual biographies – the portraits of the two women Petra and Ilona even end during the GDR era. The film is therefore characterized by the courage to present fragments; it represents a stimulating challenge to the audience to pose questions and speculate. Meanwhile, the directors are considering showing another five portraits: “Only then would we have finally reached the ‘end of the never-ending story’. A possible title: ‘They lived happily ever after’.”

Winfried Junge was born in 1935 in Berlin. After studies in German at the Humboldt University in Berlin, he transferred to the German Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 1954. Graduating in 1958, he began work at the DEFA studios. A selection of his films includes: When I Finally Go to School (Wenn ich erst zur Schule geh', 1961), Observations in a First Class (Nach einem Jahr, 1962), Eleven Years Old (Elf Jahre alt, 1966), Anmut sparet nicht noch Muehe (1979), the FIPRESCI Award-winning Lebenslaeufe (1981), Diese Golzower - Umstandsbestimmung eines Ortes (1984), Drehbuch: Die Zeiten (1992), The Life of Juergen from Golzow (Das Leben des Juergen von Golzow, 1994), The Story of Uncle Willy from Golzow (Die Geschichte des Onkel Willy aus Golzow, 1995), Was geht euch mein Leben an. Elke (1996), Da habt ihr mein Leben. Marieluise (1997), Brigitte & Marcel (1998), A Guy Like Dieter - Native of Golzow (Ein Mensch wie Dieter - Golzower, 1999), Jochen - A Golzower from Philadelphia (2001), Actually, I Wanted to Be a Forester - Bernd from Golzow (Eigentlich wollte ich Foerster werden - Bernd aus Golzow, 2006), and If They Haven't Passed Away... The Children of Golzow (Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind... Die Kinder von Golzow, 2006).

Barbara Junge was born in 1943 in Neunhofen and graduated from Karl-Marx-University in Leipzig as an English and Russian translator. From 1969 she worked at the DEFA studio for documentary film in charge of foreign language versions. Since 1978 she has been the archivist of the Golzow-project, has edited all of Winfried Junge's films since 1983 and since 1993 has also co-directed.
Genre History, Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2006
Directors Winfried Junge, Barbara Junge
Screenplay Winfried Junge, Barbara Junge
Cinematography Hans-Eberhard Leupold, Harald Klix
Barbara Junge
Gerhard Rosenfeld
Producer Klaus-Dieter Schmutzer
Production Company à jour Film/Berlin, in co-production with RBB
Length 278 min
Format 35 mm, color, b&w
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Berlin 2006 (Forum), Bologna 2006
With backing from Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Ostdeutsche Sparkassenstiftung Brandenburg, Sparkasse Maerkisch-Oderland
German Distributor PROGRESS Film-Verleih/Berlin

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