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Juergen Boettcher , also known under his pseudonym "Strawalde", was born in 1931 and grew up in a small village in the Oberlausitz. His childhood being overshadowed by the terror of the Nazi regime, he had a great desire for social change, and joined the Communist Party at the age of 17. He studied Painting at the Art Academy in Dresden. However, as a result of rising ideological turbulence, which led to his being blacklisted from the Association of Fine Arts, he was legally prohibited to continue his work as a painter. He then registered to study Film Direction at the "Konrad Wolf" Academy for Film & Television in Potsdam in 1955. It wasn't until the 1980s however that his original work as a painter was finally recognized. With more than 30 films, he has attained cult status among cineasts and has become a moral and aesthetic authority for his East German film colleagues at DEFA, the state-owned film studios of the former GDR. In 1991, he was awarded the Silver Ribbon for his film work, and is also honored with a portrait in the German Parliament. His films include: Ofenbauer (short, 1962) - winner of the Silver Dove Award, Jahrgang 45 (1965), Martha (1978), Die Frau am Klavichord (short, 1981), Rangierer (short, 1984), In Georgien (1987), Die Mauer (1990), A Place in Berlin (Konzert im Freien, 2001), and many more. Today, he lives and works again as a freelance painter in Berlin.