Manchmal möchte man fliegen
»I always want to know as much as possible, and in great detail, about what the other person has done, how he lives, how he thinks, what he‘s just been doing, what he achieves and what he has suffered, what are his hopes and desires.«
– Gitta Nickel
In Manchmal möchte man fliegen, Gitta Nickel accompanies a work brigade on a building site in Berlin-Marzahn for a year, as they erect a tower block. The film describes the attitudes of the young workers in the GDR and their everyday difficulties. Sometimes there are only outer walls and no ceiling panels, sometimes nothing at all is delivered to the building site. The men themselves are blamed by management and party leaders for not meeting targets. Reactions to the film were mixed: although it was awarded a Silberne Taube (Silver Dove) at the Internationalen Dokumentarfilmfestival in Leipzig, the official opinion was that it portrayed the »wrong« brigade. Through its mouthpiece Junge Welt, the FDJ tainted Nickel in a media campaign.The irritated words of Politbüro official Kurt Hager have been preserved: »This time we‘ll let her off, the next time she‘ll be sacked!« Although the film was not banned in the GDR, it was only shown in film clubs. 19 years later, Nickel returned to Marzahn for the ORB where she filmed Die da in der Platte with some of the same protagonists.
Awards for ›Manchmal möchte man fliegen‹
Silberne Taube, Internationales Dokumentarfilmfesival, Leipzig 1981
Film Programme Urban Landscapes
Gitta Nickel is one of the most well-known and most successful documentary filmmakers of the GDR. She started off as an assistant director on feature films, before moving at the beginning of the 60s to the documentary department of the DEFA. In 1965 she directed her first film, Wir verstehen uns. This was followed by productions on an almost annual basis. Work environments and conditions, biographical portraits and films about women play a prominent role in her oeuvre. She focuses again and again on issues of equal rights and emancipation. After 1989, Gitta Nickel became established as a freelance documentary filmmaker. The way she approaches her subject matter reveals a great empathy for her protagonists, but without showing the slightest degree of sentimentality. As well as this, Gitta Nickel was on the board of the Association of Film and Television Professionals of the GDR, Committee and Jury member of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film and President of the Neubrandenburg National Festival for Documentary and Short Film.
Films by Gitta Nickel (Selection)
Gundula – Solo für eine Krankenschwester 2004 | Zwei Deutsche 1988 | Gundula – Jahrgang 1958 1982 | Und das Weib sei nicht mehr untertan 1979 | Das ist einfach mein Leben 1975 | Heuwetter 1972 | Sie 1970 | Sibirien, Mein Haus 1967 | Dann springt mein Herz 1966