Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The enemy within

Hartmut Rosinger, Peter Wulkau. (ZDF)
30 years ago. Germany and Europe are cut in two by the wall, by barbed wire and equally by political convictions. Peter Wulkau, a young intellectual and a GDR dissident, is expelled from Leipzig university and ordered to do manual work in a factory in Magdeburg. There he joins a protestant students' group where he is spied on by his friend Hartmut Rosinger (code name "Hans Kramer"), a state security volunteer. The two men, as it turns out, are friends and enemies at the same time. In 1978 Wulkau is sentenced to two years of imprisonment.

The TV documentary "Feindber├╝hrung" (enemy engagement) presented by the German ZDF extensively quotes from state security documents, shows police photos and training films, and thus provides a deep insight into the mechanics of total secret service control. "Feindber├╝hrung", shot in original locations, is a torturingly authentic portrait of two men recalling their past, friends after all, and it is a breathtaking tale about totalitarianism, about friendship and betrayal, about guilt - and forgiving.

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