It Happened in August



91 mins., Producer, International co-production with TNM Transfer Film Neue Medien, a subsidiary company of Doculand, for ORB, SFB, SWR, ARTE.

In the night from the 12th to the 13th of August 1961,  Socialist Unity Party Secretary General and President of the  National Defense Council Walter Ulbricht gave the order to  physically separate the different sectors of Berlin.
On the  morning of the 13th of August, armed border guards began  ripping up the streets and barricading the area with barbed  wire. A few days later, during the night from the 17th to the  18th of August, troops began replacing the barbed wire with  cement blocks.

It Happened in August. Building the Berlin Wall – Anatomy of a  Political Crisis portrays the bitter events surrounding the  separation and division of Berlin. Decades after the fall of the  Wall and the opening of the archives, the film offers, in a  series of historical flashbacks, a representative and suspensefilled  panorama of the greatest crisis in post-war Germany and  international politics.

Ullrich Kasten was born in 1938. After studies in German and  Art History, he began writing in 1962, followed by writing and  directing for East German Television from 1965 on. In 1992,  he became an editor for the broadcaster ORB. A selection of  his films includes: Malik – Meine Liebe (1990), John  Heartfield – Er sprach vom Wichtigsten (1990), Goebbels  – Der Schirmherr (1992), Ihre Uhr ist kaputt oder die  Zeit selber (1997), Eigentlich ist nichts geschehen  (1998), Mein Leben ist so sündhaft lang: Victor  Klemperer, Ein Chronist des Jahrhunderts (1999), Ich  lebe, mein Gott – ich lebe: Das kurze Leben der Brigitte  Reimann (1999), Ueber den Abgrund geneigt: Leben und  Sterben des Johannes R. Becher (TV, 2001), It Happened  in August. Building The Berlin Wall – Anatomy Of A  Political Crisis (Es geschah im August – der Bau der  Berliner Mauer, 2001), and many more.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

In their documentary “lt happened in  August”, a co-production of Doculand Produktions  GmbH with SFB, ORB, SWR and  WDR (ARD), H. Kasten and Hans-Hermann  Hertie confront scenes of big politics with  Berlin everyday life in this fateful year  1961. This and a calm, structured  presentation takes the pathos from the  facts putatively known since long – the  tears, the fleeing people, the famous Wallinscriptions,  the tanks, the barbed wire, the  bricklayers, the Cold Warriors. However,  the expectation that this might be the  definitely different, the ultimately valid  revealing film about the building of the Wall  is met with professional understatement.

In the present “media-Olympic” of the Walldocumentaries,  the Film “It happened in  August” absolutely deserves a leading  position and the rating to be “highly  recommended”.

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