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Sun Alley (Sonnenallee)

Sun Alley
Scene from "Sun Alley" (photo courtesy of Beta Cinema)

A "mufta" is a multifunctional table, a "Minetta" is a radio, mopeds are called "Swallows" and "Asthmakraut Halle" (a special asthma medication) is the only recreational drug available. The Soviet Union is big brother; the rest of the world is the enemy of the people, and the Berlin Wall is actually a bulwark againt fascists. This is the German Democratic Republic, the land where Michael lives. He wears bell-bottoms and a home-printed Rock & Pop T-shirt. And the street he lives on wends most of its length through West-Berlin, with just its tail in the East. The apartment is cramped; the neighbour works for the secret police; there's an uncle from the West to smuggle in pantyhose; and a West German passport which causes his mother to age before his very eyes. But Micha is focused on his goal: doing whatever it takes to win the heart of the prettiest girl at school. It all happened a very long time ago, but if Micha doesn't tell the story now, we'll never know what it was like, back then in the seventies, in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, at the back end of the Sun Alley. In Sun Alley director Leander Haussmann and screenwriter Thomas Brussig take us on a trip through East Germany. This is no feature-length grouse: it's a heartfelt and sympathetic look - the re-discovery of a world that has long since ceased to exist.


Leander Haußmann was born in Quedlinburg in 1959. After attending the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art in Berlin, he acted in the theater for several years before becoming a director. He was the artistic director of Bochum's Schauspielhaus from 1995-2000, during which time he appeared in Detlev Buck's film JAILBIRDS. His big breakthrough as a film director came with SUN ALLEY (SONNENALLEE, 2000), followed by BERLIN BLUES (HERRLEHMANN, 2003), NVA (2005), INTRIGUE AND LOVE (KABALE UND LIEBE, TV, 2005), WHY MEN DON'T LISTEN AND WOMEN CAN'T READ MAPS (WARUM MÄNNER NICHT ZUHÖREN UND FRAUEN SCHLECHT EINPARKEN, 2007), ROBERT ZIMMERMANN IS TANGLED UP IN LOVE (ROBERT ZIMMERMANN WUNDERT SICH ÜBER DIE LIEBE, 2008), HOTEL LUX (2011), SHARK ALARM AT MÜGGELSEE (HAI-ALARM AM MÜGGELSEE, 2013), and TEENOSAURUS REX (DAS PUBERTIER, 2017).
Genre Comedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2000
Director Leander Haußmann
Screenplay Thomas Brussig, Leander Haußmann
Cinematography Peter Joachim Krause
Sandy Saffeels
Paul Lemp, Stephen Keusch, Einstuerzende Neubauten
Cast Katharina Thalbach, Henry Hübchen, Detlev Buck, Alexander Scheer, Alexander Beyer
Producers Claus Boje, Detlev Buck
Production Companies SAT.1/Berlin, öFilm/Berlin, Boje Buck Produktion/Berlin
Length 90 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo
Festivals Berlin 2000 (German Films), Sao Paolo 2000 (New Directors' Competition), Pusa 2000, Leeds 2000 (in competition), Williamsburg 2000, Osaka 2000, Valladolid 2000, Havana 2001, Aspen 2001, Dublin 2001 (in competition), Giffoni 2001 (in competition), Philadelphia 2001, Singapore 2001, Natfilm Copenhagen 2001m, Eurocine Quito 2002, Pyongyang 2002, Pittsburgh 2002, Palma de Mallorca 2002, Dundee 2002, Rangun 2002, Cairo 2003, among others
Awards Best DirectorBest Feature Aspen 2001
With backing from German Federal Film Board, BKM

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