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Traces of Stones (Spur der Steine)

Traces of Stones

Building construction foreman Hannes Balla - hulky and throwing around his weight - is king of the large building site "Schkona". He is held in high esteem, especially by his unit's men because he makes sure their pay and bonuses are paid out correctly. Things stop running so smoothly once Kati Klee, a young technician, and Werner Horrath, the new party Secretary, arrive on the building site. Hannes' unassailibility and his reputation are at stake now because Horrath has a lot going for himself and is quite a match for Hannes. And Kati forces Hannes to lift his go-getter mask some what to reveal a bit of his true nature. Balla falls in love with Kati. But Horrath loves the young technician as well, despite being devoted to his wife and children waiting for him in Rostock. He cannot make up his mind and entangles himself in lies, pretending to himself he is doing this for the sake of his work. But he pays a high price for lying. This triangular relationship - between Kati, Werner, and Hannes - which initially benefitted their work because it inspired Balla to take on new tasks and views, is destroyed.


Frank Beyer was born in 1932 in Nobitz. From 1952-1957, he studied at the FAMU film school in Prague. From 1958-1966, he was a director at the DEFA Studio in Babelsberg, but was forced to leave following his film The Trace of Stones (Spur der Steine, 1966), which was considered a critical affront by the government of the German Democratic Republic, and was forbidden to work in Berlin and Potsdam. He was director at the State Theater in Dresden from 1967-1969 and began making TV films for East German Television in 1970. He started making features for DEFA again in 1974. After the banning of his film Geschlossene Gesellschaft, he was permitted to make films in West Germany. His films include: Five Cartridges (Fuenf Patronenhuelsen, 1960), Invincible Love (Koenigskinder, 1962), Naked Among Wolves (Nackt unter Woelfen, 1963), Carbide and Sorrel (Karbid und Sauerampfer, 1964), Traces of Stone (Spur der Steine, 1966), Jacob the Liar (Jakob der Luegner, 1974), The Hiding Place (Das Versteck, 1978), The Turning Point (Der Aufenthalt, 1983), Bockshorn (1984), Der Bruch (1989), and Nikolaikirche (TV, 1995), among others.

Director Frank Beyer
Screenplay Karl-Georg Egel
Cinematography Guenter Marczinkowsky
Hildegard Conrad-Noeller
Wofram Heicking
Cast Eberhard Esche, Manfred Krug, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Johannes Wieke, Walter Richter-Reinick, Walter Jupé
Production Company DEFA/Berlin
Length 138 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Berlin 1990 (out of competition), Pusan 2004

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