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2 Votes (3.5)
Dragan Wende - West Berlin (2013)
Dragan Wende - West Berlin (original title)
Documentary, 87 min
Production countries   Serbia,Germany
Languages   German,English,Croatian
Directors   Dragan von Petrovic, Lena von Muller
Scriptwriters   Dragan von Petrovic, Lena von Muller
Producer   Lena von Muller
Plot keywords    
Comedy, biography
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In this tragicomical documentary set between West-Berlin and former Yugoslavia, the young cameraman Vuk from Belgrade embarks on the trail of his eccentric uncle Dragan Wende who, 30 years earlier became the street king of West-Berlin’s 1970s hedonistic disco scene. Earning easy money in Berlin's most famous nightclubs, work and play went hand in hand. Furthermore, thanks to their Yugoslav passport, Dragan Wende and his friends could easily pass from West-Berlin to East-Berlin: they thus profited from the Wall like few others, made quick money 'importing' goods and hard currency and were highly popular with the Eastern Ladies. But in 1989 the Wall fell. Suddenly it was open to everyone and everything changed. 20 years later, Vuk’s uncle is an aged alcoholic who lives off social welfare and memories of his youth. He has not set foot in East-Berlin ever since and seldom leaves his surreal West-Berlin. Vuk and his camera discover and confront his uncle's bizarre and tragicomic world of veteran Yugo-immigrants, fallen millionaires and post-Wall-losers. We observe the survival strategies of a group of immigrants who once had it easy and who cannot help but wish for a return of The Wall – the Fall of which is held responsible for their financial hardship. But Vuk must also survive. So Dragan offers him a job at the bordello he works for. A witness to this is Dragan's father Grandpa Mile (83), a stonemason who moved to Berlin in the 1960s after the Berlin Wall created a labour shortage. His life consisted of hard work, saving money and working West-Berlin's most prominent buildings. Retired after having built a city he didn't actually like, he returned to his homeland “Yugoslavia” which had just ceased to exist. Once a year he visits his two biggest disappointments: Berlin and his son. Their lives, both so closely linked to the rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall, could not be more different... We observe a microcosm of underdogs and their survival strategies in at times absurd and sit-comic situations. Archive flashbacks interweave the history of West-Berlin with that of Dragan Wende. An intimate and entertaining underground family-tale about the “Losers of Change” in a still-divided city.
Technical Specifications Image / Sound
Color / Black & White   Color
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Films of Dragan von Petrovic, Lena von Muller
Dragan Wende - West Berlin
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