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Biographies – The Story of the Children of Golzow (Lebenslaeufe)

Biographies – The Story of the Children of Golzow
Scene from "Biographies – The Story of the Children of Golzow" (photo courtesy of Progress Film)

Winfried and Barbara Junge's long-term observation of "The Children of Golzow" presents a series of nine individual biographies in which the pupils of the East German town Golzow are featured, both in observation and with their own comments. The filming took place in regular intervals from 1961 to 1980. The resulting recordings show the portrayed individuals at very distinctive moments in their lives, for example at school enrolment, youth initiation ceremony and graduation. At their school reunion in 1975, we then see which direction they went in, both privately and professionally.


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 Drama, Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 1981
Directors Winfried Junge, Barbara Junge
Cinematography Hans-Eberhard Leupold, Harald Klix, Hans Dumke
Christel Gass-Hemmerling, Charlotte Beck
Kurt Grottke, Peter Gotthardt, Gerhard Rosenfeld
Production Company DEFA/Berlin
Length 257 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions English
Original Version
 German
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Leipzig 1981, Berlin 1982
Awards Honorary Golden Dove Leipzig 1981, FIPRESCI Award & Otto-Dibelius-Award Berlin 1982
German Distributor PROGRESS Film-Verleih/Berlin

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