Rainer Simon's adaptation of Fritz Rudolf Fries' novel "The Airship" is one of the most unconventional feature films ever produced in East Germany. Featuring a complex flashback structure and animated dream sequences painted directly on the film by artist Lutz Dammbeck, Das Luftschiff tells the story of an inventor who dreams of building a revolutionary new airship. When Civil War breaks out in Spain, the inventor refuses to allow his work to be abused for sinister political purposes. Unbändiges Spanien is an expanded version of Spanish Earth by Joris Ivens, who authorized Jeanne and Kurt Stern to update his work for a new audience.
Das Luftschiff / The Airship - East Germany 1983 - Directed by: Rainer Simon - Written by: Rainer Simon, Fritz Rudolf Fries, based on the novel by Fritz Rudolf Fries - Cinematography: Roland Dressel - Non-Camera-Animation: Lutz Dammbeck - Music: Friedrich Goldmann, Karl-Ernst Sasse - Cast: Jörg Gudzuhn, Elisa Montés, Victor Carvajal, Daniel Roth, Katrin Knappe, Gudrun Ritter, Johanna Schall, Hermann Beyer - Produced by: DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme, Gruppe Johannisthal- Premiere: March 17, 1983 (Kino International, East Berlin)
Unbändiges Spanien / Irrepressible Spain - East Germany 1962 - Directed and written by: Kurt & Jeanne Stern, using the film Spanish Earth by Joris Ivens - Photographed by: Christian Lehmann, Peter Hellmich - Music by: Hanns Eisler - Voices: Mathilde Danegger, Hilmar Thate, Manfred Krug, Ekkehard Schall, Norbert Christian - Premiere: February 19, 1962 (Kino Kosmos, East Berlin)
Rainer Simon spricht über Das Luftschiff / Director Rainer Simon about The Airship - Germany 2018 - Directed and edited by: Nadine Furlop - Produced by: Nadine Fuhrlop for DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts - First release
DVD features (2-disc DVD)
- Das Luftschiff 1983, 117'
- Rainer Simon spricht über Das Luftschiff 2018, 11'
- Unbändiges Spanien 1962, 87'
- 16 pages bilingual booklet with texts by Rainer Simon, Hans-Jörg Rother, Fred Gehler, Jeanne Stern and Esteve Riambau
Edited by: Filmmuseum München
DVD authoring: Tobias Dressel, Gunther Bittmann
DVD supervision: Stefan Drössler
First Edition August 2018