After the Fall of the Berlin Wall
..... ..... ....
"Test the West" documentary

Test the West!
Metamorphosis in East Germany

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Socialism opened up great opportunities for the people in East Germany. Yet, this abundance of opportunity did not come without social cost. What does it really mean to make such a sudden transition from socialism to a market economy? How do people adjust to the enormous changes in their lives?

The two-part documentary "Test the West!" follows the progress of East Germany's metamorphosis over a period of three years, from 1990 to 1993. Produced by a native of East Germany, the video deals with the issue of reunification from an insider's perspective - documenting the initial chaos, the hopes and dreams of the people, their frustrations with the new system and the slow process of the country's rebuilding.

"Test the West!" is the kind of documentary that will provoke vigorous discussions among viewers. Highly recommended.

- Video Librarian

Part I: 1990 "First Encounter with a new System" 30 min.
English, with dubbed German interviews

Part II:1993 "The Rebuilding of a Country" 48 min.
English, with dubbed German interviews

"This is a very important video for all public libraries and university collections, since it gives viewers a rare opportunity to see a nation reforming into one unit after being severely divided for many decades."

- Video Rating Guide for Libraries

"This video deals with how ordinary people are handling an extraordinary situation. It can prove an eye-opener for American audiences who may simplistuically beliefe that instant democracy is an instant solution for all social ills."

- Video Rating Guide for Libraries

My Second Life
East German Women in a Changed World

"I am talking about my two lives.
My first live was over with the reunification.
I am now living my second life."
(testimonial of an East German woman)

East Germany's rapid transition to a free market economy meant the loss of a giant support structure, which had enabled 91% of East German women to be employed, even while having three or more children. Women used to enjoy up to one year of paid maternity leave, subsidized day care, and generous bonus pay - but under the new capitalist system, there were drastic cutbacks.

As unemployment rises, it is primarily women who find themselves pushed off the job market. No longer financially self-sufficient and driven from the careers they identified with, many women have trouble coping with their "second lives" under a vastly different system.

This video offers a deeper insight into the complex process of German reunification by letting East German women speak for themselves - and the wide range of their responses proves that a story is never as black and white as newspaper headlines might make it appear.

"My Second Life" 53 min.
English with subtitled German Interviews

This page was created by Coastline Productions. Please report any problems or missing links to: