Punto de Vista 2013 is screening a broad retrospective of the German documentary filmmaker Thomas Heise, a chronicler of the continuities and changes in the unification of Germany. It will be the first extensive retrospective in Spain, supplemented by a book in the Punto de Vista collection.
Born in East Berlin in 1955, Thomas Heise took his first steps as director’s assistant in East Germany’s DEFA (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft) Film Studios between 1975 and 1978. From 1978 to 1983, he studied to become a TV and film director. His first film, Why Make Film about these People?, was made using black market materials. It was only allowed to be released in 1990. Since then, Heise has worked as a freelance writer and director of documentary films, theatre plays and radio shows. As a documentary maker, he portrayed the underprivileged in East Germany in the 1980s, before the fall of the Wall. After the fall, he set out to show the most devastating effects of the unification of Germany on the same people. In the past few years, Heise has broadened his scope, moving on to other topics and locations.
The retrospective at Punto de Vista will include Heise’s most important works from his different periods. Mein Bruder.We'll Meet Again / My Brother. We'll Meet Again, on denunciations in East Germany and Eisenzeit / Ironage, about the underlying Nazi ideas after the unification of Germany, draw a complex picture of contemporary Germany, whereas Die Lage / Condition or his latest documentary, Gegenwart / Consequence, reflect his critical view of the German society facing the new dynamics of the twenty-first century.
In addition to the retrospective, Punto de Vista is publishing a book analysing Heise’s films, in the style of previous volumes in the Punto de Vista collection. Edited by the renowned German film critic and programmer Olaf Möller, a regular contributor to Cinema Scope and editor of Film Comment for Europe since 2004, the book includes essays by Javier Estrada, Ivette Löcker and Andreas Goldstein, as well as texts by Heise and friends, family or collaborators never published before in Spanish or English. Thus, the book is intended to be a reflection on the various aspects of Heise’s documentaries and his approach to the recent history of Germany – a broken society, even to this day.
Like all the other volumes in the Punto de Vista collection since 2010, it will be a bilingual book in Spanish and English, aimed at promoting Heise’s work internationally.