Lebenslaeufe (1982)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Social Issues  |   Run Time - 255 min.  |   Countries - East Germany  |  
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In what must be a first-time occurrence, director Winfried Junge has shot a total of more than 24 hours of film between 1961 and 1979, following the lives of 15 members of a first-grade class into adulthood. In this four-and-a-half-hour documentary, nine of the students are presented with footage and commentary by Junge. A lot of mistaken guesses about the future and unfulfilled plans are handled with respect and a certain amount of humor. In the end, all the students grew up into responsible and sometimes quite commendable adults -- it was their journey and the unknown (how would they look or think in three years? five? ten?) that together make for a fascinating study of this microcosm of a larger society.