My DDR issues

These specially dedicated pages have been around since the start of the project back in 2005. They have grown and developed alongside the film. We have tried our best to offer an insight into the process and to keep these pages as up to date as possible.

When the project started, it was not known where the new digital film project would take us. It could’ve resulted in debt and personal ruin for filmmaker Ian Hawkins, or it may bring unprecedented fame and fortune. We are expecting something between the two.

But let us explain some basics…

For the DDR, we are referring to the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or East Germany. Amongst many other things, this country was home to the Berlin Wall, Trabant cars and the infamous Stasi. It is also a country that ceased to exist after Germany’s reunification in 1990.

It is this division and reunification that interested Ian. So, in the second half of May 2005, Ian flew to Berlin for 6 days of shooting. A variety of people were interviewed and were asked about the DDR and in particular the question, “What does a DDR T-Shirt represent to you?”

Okay, okay. This may not seem like the most probing question, but think about it. If you were proud and patriotic, how would you feel if your country simply disappeared in 1990? Or think of it another way, if your life was miserable in the DDR, wouldn’t it make you angry to see Western tourists buying DDR souvenirs? So, what exactly does the DDR flag mean now?

Berlin is a remarkable place. The point where ideas, East and West, stood face to face for more than 40 years. Within that situation are hundreds of everyday stories that would be remarkable anywhere else. Ordinary is a relative term in Berlin. With luck and planning, My DDR T-Shirt will capture some of these tales.