November '89, when the Wall came tumbling down. Ophuls showed up not long after, tracking down ordinary citizens caught on camera during those initial joyous hours, questioning them about their lives before, their expectations now. And he gently grills former members of what had been the East German political and artistic establishment, who prove variously rueful, defiant or evasive about their roles in the GDR. Ophuls is perhaps overly attentive to the minutiae of Honecker's downfall - who did what when - and the parallels he draws with Julius Caesar seem inappropriate for so shabby a bunch. Mostly though this is valuable, moving film-journalism, with Ophuls himself - courteous, committed, playful - a most sympathetic guide.
Cast and crew