‘Politically precarious’ banned East German film premieres

The last reel to be dug out of East Germany's banned film vault premieres for the first time in Dresden on Wednesday, 43 years after it got the censor’s ax.

'Politically precarious' banned East German film premieres
Photo: DPA

“Hands up or I’ll shoot,” (”Hände hoch oder ich schieße”), is a gangster comedy that takes place in a little town called Wolkenheim, known for its low crime rate.

Directed by the late Hans-Joachim Kasprzik, the movie was filmed in black and white in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The film tells the story of Officer Holms (played by Rolf Herricht), a bored policeman waiting on a big case to break the small-town doldrums. His good friend Pinkas (Zdenek Stepánek), who hates to see his buddy bored, stages the kidnap of a monument in the town square.

Hilarity ensues but GDR censors said the film was too “politically precarious” to be shown.

While most of the film’s stars and crew have since passed away, actor Herbert Köfer will be at the film’s long-awaited premiere at the cinema on the banks of the Elbe River.

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