Damascus / East Berlin


Status: Development

Genre: Animadocfilm

Duration: 90 min.

Directors: Marie Elisa Scheidt, Sulafa Hijazi

Director of photography: Julian Krubasik

Editor: Denize Galiao

Production: Nicole Kirsch

Producer: DAvid Lindner Leporda

Production company: Filmallee GmbH

Funding: FFF Bayern 

Production countries: Germany




The feature-length animadocumentary DAMASCUS / EAST-BERLIN tells a forgotten piece of German history from a surprising Syrian perspective: the legacy of the security state created in the former GDR lives on in the DNA of the security services in Syria.
Since the outbreak of war in Syria in 2011, Germany has taken in nearly 800,000 Syrian refugees. More than ten years have passed since then and the new arrivals in Germany have raised many questions and concerns, sometimes leading to a shift to the right in German society.
DAMASCUS / EAST-BERLIN is an investigative journey through our transcultural memory. Through personal stories, the film examines German-Syrian relations since the 1980s in order to find common links between these two worlds that many are no longer aware of: In particular, the role that the GDR played in building a repressive intelligence system in Syria and helping to consolidate a dictatorial regime from which hundreds of thousands fled their country to Germany. The focus is on the question of how dictatorships inscribe themselves in people's psyches: For the psychological wounds of East Germany did not disappear into the archives after 1989. Just as little can the traumas of Syria's dictatorship be integrated from the outside. Is this common wound something that unites us?