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ND - Deutsches Neuland

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ISAN: 0000-0001-A441-0000-M-0000-0000-8

François Rossier, Sandra Pechtel 2004 64'

A massive building that looks like a ship run aground extends along the Strasse der Pariser Kommune in Berlin's district of Friedrichshain. Once the DDR's Media Palace, the remaining neon signs on the roof forming the letters NEUES DEUTSCHLAND (New Germany) were switched off long ago. Inside, time appears to be at a standstill. A porter left over from another time oversees the lobby with its smell of linoleum and its out-of-order pater noster rotary lift that somehow seems to continuously carry up the ghosts of a lively past. This documentary is a portrait of an uncanny place suspended in time, where the DDR continues to dwell in odds and ends from another era. The past sheds its yellow neon light on those who have built their new little kingdoms in the vacated niches. No longer the editorial offices of the Neues Deutschland daily paper, it is now a rather bizarre melange of German realities, past and present. A world apart, threatened to vanish under the unified German efforts of renovation.