Westwind

Hast du manchmal auch das Gefühl, dass die eigentliche Geschichte genau in dem Moment anfängt, an dem der Film zu Ende ist?

Zwei Schwestern aus der DDR machen im Sommer ’89 Urlaub in einem Pionierlager am Balaton, und eine verliebt sich in einen Jungen aus Westdeutschland. Sie flüchtet mit ihm über die grüne Grenze nach Westdeutschland, während ihre Schwester zurückbleibt.

Mit der geglückten Flucht endet der Film.

Dabei fängt es doch da gerade erst an, spannend zu werden. Was passiert mit der zurückgebliebenen Schwester und der Familie in der DDR (der Staat praktizierte in solchen Fällen sogenannte „Sippenhaft“)?

Was macht die Entscheidung der einen – zu flüchten – und die Entscheidung der anderen – zu bleiben – mit der Beziehung der beiden Schwestern zueinander?

Und was passiert mit dieser Geschichte, als nur ein Jahr später die Mauer fällt?

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

4 thoughts on “Westwind

  1. I don’t speak a single word of German, so I ran your post into Google translate. I get the gist, but I am sure Google has rendered the left behind sister retarded against your will! So now I really want to know what happened to make her retarded, which isn’t a word we use anyway nowadays. Google twisted your writing for me. Language is such a difficult thing and computers complicate it even more!

    This is what Google translated it as:
    Do you sometimes have the feeling that the actual story starts at the exact moment when the movie is over?

    Two sisters from the GDR spend the summer of ’89 vacationing in a pioneer camp on Lake Balaton, and one falls in love with a boy from West Germany. They fled with him across the green border to West Germany, while her sister remains behind.

    The film ends with the successful escape.

    But it is only beginning to get exciting. What happens to the retarded sister and family in the GDR?

    What makes the decision of others – to stay – with the relationship of the two sisters to each other?

    And what happens to this story when only one year later the wall falls?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Brewer, you might have better luck with DeepL: https://www.deepl.com/en/translator
    Google Translate translated the verb zurückblieben more or less correctly the first time it appeared in the text as “remains behind” – which any sane person would have expressed as “stayed behind”. The second time , when that same verb is used adjectivally, Google freaked out with the “retarded” nonsense”: it simply means “the sister who stayed behind”. Also, Google omitted a whole wad of text – presumably because it was a bit tricky: “(der Staat praktizierte in solchen Fällen sogenannte „Sippenhaft“)” (In such cases, the State usually punished the family). This is a powerful bit of Andrea’s text: Sippenhaft was the concept of punishing the family for defection to the West of one of its members (or any other crime against the State) – and very difficult to translate with the same degree of intensity. The word had its origins, however, in the Third Reich.

    I do enjoy Andrea’s concept though: that the real story begins when the story depicted in the film ends.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you both for your comments, so lovely. Indeed, the sister didn’t become retarded, she just stayed behind. Well, “just” is easier said than done in this context…

    I saw this movie two weeks ago in a cinema in Paris during a movie festival and after the screening, one of the main actresses (the woman who played the sister who stayed behind) went on stage and was interviewed by the festival staff and the audience.

    The movie is depicting a true story and the sister who stayed behind actually wrote the script for the movie and was partly involved in the movie making as well. It seems that this was her way of working through what had happened. Her name is Susann Schimk and here is for example of a really nice interview with her (again in German, sorry): https://www.artechock.de/film/text/interview/s/schmik_2011.html

    Last but not least: I’m from the east as well and in summer 1989 I happened to be in Hungary with a schoolfriend of mine (first vacation without parents). We met some guys from Austria and yes, they asked us if we want to hide in their car to cross the border into Austria and then West Germany. We did not go and it was all much less dramatic than in the movie, and we were not in love. I remember though that I thought at that time, that I would never leave like that. I did know what happened to families of people who “defected” and I had no future waiting for me in West Germany. I therefore very much sympathised with the sister who stayed behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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