Helke Misselwitz

Helke Misselwitz

Darstellerin, Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent
*18.07.1947 Zwickau

Biography

Helke Misselwitz, born July 18, 1947 in Zwickau, became a carpenter after finishing school. Then, from 1966 to 1969, she attended an apprenticeship as a physiotherapist at Medizinische Akademie Erfurt. After her graduation, Misselwitz moved to Berlin and worked as a host and assistant director for the GDR television, at first as a freelancer, and from 1973 on in a permanent position. From 1973 on, she also created the first programmes on her own before DFF sent her to Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen in Potsdam-Babelsberg to study directing. At HFF, Misselwitz finished several films including "Verstecken" (1979), "Ein Leben" (1980), and "Die fidele Bäckerin" (1982), her graduation film. Although all her films are fictional, they nevertheless contain documentary elements. Furthermore, most of the films deal with the time of the Nazi regime.

After graduating from HFF, Misselwitz did not return back to television, but started to work as a freelance writer and director, mainly for the DEFA studio for documentary films. At first, she also had to work part-time clearing tables in a Berlin station restaurant, to make a living. From 1985 to 1988, Misselwitz attended Heiner Carow's master class at Akademie der Künste der DDR. During this time, Misselwitz finished the documentary film "Winter adé" (1988) about the rather different life situations of several women in the GDR, ranging from an old grandmother to 16-year old punk girls. With this film, Misselwitz also started her long-time collaboration with cinematographer Thomas Plenert. The film was a large success with critics and movie goers alike and won the Silver Dove award at the Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

After her success with "Winter adé", Misselwitz got a permanent position at DEFA studio for documentary films. In her next film, "Wer fürchtet sich vorm schwarzen Mann" (1989), she portrayed the daily routines in a coal merchant's business that is led by a woman in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg borough. In "Sperrmüll" (1990), Misselwitz accompanied a punk band whose instruments are made out of thrown away things.

After the German reunification, Misselwitz was layed off in the course of the liquidation of DEFA and set up her own film production company together with producer Thomas Wilkening – one of the first private film production companies in East Germany. In 1992, she finished her first feature film, "Herzsprung", that tells the tragic story of a young unemployed woman who falls in love with an African man and, as a result, is bullied by the residents of her small town. Misselwitz then made several more documentary films before she finished her second feature film, "Engelchen" ("Little Angel"), in 1996. In "Engelchen", Susanne Lothar emphatically played a lonely factory worker who experiences a short, happy love affair with a married Polish man, but then loses all hope for a better life. With her documentary films "Fremde Oder" (2001) und "Quartier der Illusionen" (2004), Misselwitz then again dealt with the history and the tales of individual places in East Germany.

From 1997 to 2014, Helke Misselwitz was a professor for directing at Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen "Konrad Wolf" in Potsdam-Babelsberg (today: Filmuniversität Babelsberg) and acted as a dramaturgic consultant for several projects, for instance Matthias Luthardt's debut film "Pingpong" (2006).

In 2013 Helke Misselwitz was honored at "Boulevard der Stars" in Berlin; in 2016 she received the honorary award at the German Film Critics Awards. She lives in Berlin and near Rheinsberg.

The contents of this entry were funded with the support of the DEFA-Stiftung.

Filmography

2005/2006 Pingpong
Script editor
 
2005 Der Bootgott vom Seesportclub - Die 100 ME - Teil 1
Script editor
 
2004 Quartier der Illusionen
Director
 
2003-2005 KussKuss
Cast
 
2000/2001 Fremde Oder
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1997 Das 7. Jahr - Ansichten zur Lage der Nation
Director
 
1997 Oskar, Karli und der Herr mit Zigarre
Director
 
1995/1996 Engelchen
Director, Screenplay
 
1995/1996 Meine Liebe, Deine Liebe
Director, Screenplay
 
1995 Leben - Ein Traum
Director, Story
 
1995 Träume
Director, Screenplay
 
1994 Segeln nach Uist
Voice
 
1993 Schönes Fräulein, darf ich's wagen
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Interviews
 
1992 Herzsprung
Director, Screenplay
 
1992 Am Öwknick
Voice
 
1991 Was hast'n gemacht, gestern
Director
 
1991 Sassnitz
Director
 
1990 Räume
Director
 
1989/1990 Biologie!
Cast
 
1989-1991 Sperrmüll
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1989 Wer fürchtet sich vorm schwarzen Mann
Director, Screenplay
 
1988 DEFA KINOBOX [Jg. 1988 / Nr. 61]
Director
 
1987/1988 Winter adé
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1985 Tango-Traum
Director, Screenplay
 
1985 DEFA KINOBOX [JG. 1985 / Nr. 40]
Director, Screenplay
 
1985 DEFA KINOBOX [Jg. 1985 / Nr. 39]
Director, Screenplay
 
1984 Stilleben - Eine Reise zu den Dingen
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1983/1984 Aktfotografie - z.B. Gundula Schulze
Director, Screenplay
 
1983 Haus
Director
 
1982 Die fidele Bäckerin
Director, Screenplay
 
1982 Haus. Frauen - Eine Collage
Director, Screenplay
 
1980 Ein Leben
Director, Screenplay
 
1979 Verstecken
Director
 
1979 Winterbilder
Director