Thomas Heise
(Germany)

Thomas Heise was born in Berlin, capital of the German Democratic Republic, in 1955. After school he trained as a printer. After his military service in the East German armed forces he began to work as an assistant director at the DEFA - Studio for Feature Films in Potsdam Babelsberg in 1975. Between 1978 and 1983 Heise studied at the Academy of Film & Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg (HFF/B). His first film, the documentary Wozu denn über diese Leute einen Film/Why a Film About These People - produced entirely with materials bought on the black market - was banned from public screening. Since 1983 he has worked as a free-lance writer and director in the areas of theatre, audio drama and documentary. Until the end of the GDR all his documentary efforts were however either blocked by what was – in official jargon – called 'operative means' or destroyed or confiscated.

Since the beginning of the 1990s Heise's documentaries have attracted national and international attention. Since 2007 he's been teaching as a Professor for Film and Media Art at Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. Thomas Heise's earlier films dealt with social phenomena in the GDR and the country's bureaucratic apparatus. From the late 80s his focus has moved to the changes individuals, families and regional communities have had to undergo in the aftermath of the German reunification. The works of the filmmaker encompass a wide range of contemporary socially relevant topics such as privatisation, the re-organisation of the formerly industrial sphere, unemployment and rightwing radicalism to name but a few.


Photo: Jerusalem Film Festival.

Filmography
Heimat is a Space in Time
2019
Städtebewohner
2014
Gegenwart
2012
Die Lage
2012
Sonnensystem
2011
Material
2008
Kinder. Wie die Zeit vergeht. / Children. As Time Flies.
2007
Im Glück (Neger) / Lucky (Niggers)
2006
Mein Bruder. We’ll Meet Again
2005
Der Ausländer / The Foreigner
2004
Vaterland / Fatherland
2002
Meine Kneipe / My Local
2000
Barluschke
1997
Stau – Jetzt geht‘s los / Jammed – Let’s Get Moving
1992
Eisenzeit / Iron Age
1991
Zuchthaus Brandenburg, Dezember 1989 / Brandenburg Prison, December 1989
1989 - 1990
4. November
1989
Imbiß Spezial
1989
Heiner Müller 1
1987
Volkspolizei / People’s Police
1985
Das Haus / The House
1984
Erfinder 82 / Inventor 82
1982
Wozu denn über diese Leute einen Film / Why a Film About These People
1980

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