DEFA 20@20 – The Flight

Goethe-Institut, Los Angeles, California
5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | 7:00 PM

The Flight
Dir. Roland Gräf, GDR, 1977, 94 min. German with English subtitles, digital
Starring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Jenny Gröllmann

The Flight

The topic of escaping to the West was taboo in the GDR, consequently The Flight is an exception in East German film history. Winner of the Grand Prix at the Karoly Vary International Film Festival in 1978, this was the last film Armin Mueller-Stahl made at the East German DEFA studios. In 1980, only two years after the release of the film, he left East Germany for the West because of professional restrictions imposed on him in response to his protests against the expatriation of the dissident singer/songwriter Wolf Biermann.

When Dr. Schmith’s (Armin Mueller-Stahl) proposal for international research on infant mortality is rejected, he decides to leave East Germany and strikes a deal with an escape agency that promises him a leading position at a children’s hospital in West Germany. But the decision is reversed – the project is approved and his international colleagues want Dr. Schmith to head the section. There, he falls in love with his new colleague, Katharina (Jenny Gröllmann). Schmith initially tries to ignore the arrangements he made with the escape agency, but they blackmail him. Things soon turn deadly…

Presented by The Wende Museum and the Goethe-Institut, this screening is generously supported by the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as part of the Defa 20@20 anniversary tour.

Free of charge

Please RSVP directly to the Goethe-Institut by January 27, 2014 via 323.525.3388 or 

$1 validated parking (for events only) on weekdays after 6:00 pm and all day on weekends in the Wilshire Courtyard West underground garage-P1.


20@20 Goethe Institut