Film Series: FROM US TO ME (East Germany)


Location: Browning Cinema, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Introduction Video

Q&A Video



From Us to Me (2016) from Amber Films on Vimeo.


Ellin Hare, one of the film's directors and member of Amber Films, will introduce the screening and participate in the Q&A session.


About the Film

In 1987 Amber Films documented the fishing and shipbuilding town of Rostock in East Germany. A year later, the film’s GDR release caused uproar, audiences responding enthusiastically to its unredacted style, the authorities cancelling screenings at the last minute. From Marks & Spencer to Marx and Engels was broadcast on Channel 4, along with the ‘exchange’ film made on the Tyne by East German film company DEFA.

In 2013 and 2014 Amber returned, having traced all the key characters in the original film – the former members of the FPG fishing co-operative and of the Brigade of Women Crane Drivers. In the film they look back at themselves in 1987, at the experience of ‘Die Wende’, the change that came with the collapse of the GDR, and over the 25 years since the reunification of East and West Germany. Asked about the openness and emotional power of the interviews, one of the participants said, ‘We’ve been waiting all these years for someone to come and ask us these questions.’

About Ellin Hare

Ellin Hare worked at the BBC as an editor, made several short films and was a member of Frontroom Productions, co-writing and editing the feature film Acceptable Levels before joining Amber Films in 1983.

She has been editor on all of Amber’s feature films and several documentaries and co-directed T Dan Smith (1987). She has also worked as producer on several Amber productions.

She directed three of Amber’s feature films, Dream On (1991), The Scar (1997), and Like Father ( 2001). All have won multiple awards including Prix Europa and Prix Futura for Dream On and Prix Europa for The Scar. All have been screened on BBC or Channel 4 and Arte or ZDF as well as cinemas worldwide. She co-directed several documentaries, including feature documentaries The Pursuit of Happiness (2008) and From Us to Me (2016).

About The Amber 

The collective came together in 1968, out of a meeting of film students in London. Throughout the 1970s the group explored the North of England, its changing communities and disappearing industrial landscapes.

In 1985 it released Seacoal, its first feature film. Other feature films include T Dan Smith (1987), In Fading Light (1989) Dream On (1991), Eden Valley (1994), The Scar (1997), Like Father (2001), Shooting Magpies (2005). All have been shown on British television and had varying levels of Theatrical release.The group have also made some 20 or so documentaries and also animations and shorts, including Launch (1973), Byker (1983), The Writing in the Sand (1991), The Pursuit of Happiness (2008), Today I'm with You (2010). It has won many international and national awards including, in 1989, the Grierson Award for contribution to independent filmmaking. In 2011 the interlinked narrative of Amber’s films and collective member Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s photographs, 1968 to 2010, was recognised in UNESCO’s Memory of the World register as of national cultural importance in the UK.

Members of the group bring and develop different skills, but Amber adopts collective production credits as the most honest description of the way it makes films.  Membership has evolved constantly over the years although, of the current members, 3 have been in the group for over 20 years and 4 for over 8 years. In the last 2 years several new and younger filmmakers have been drawn in to work with the collective.


$7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for ND/SMC faculty/staff, and $4 for students/children. Contact the box office at 574-631-2800, or visit to purchase tickets.

Free tickets available while supplies last at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at 211 Brownson Hall.

Sponsored by the 2016 Fall Nanovic Institute Film Series: Disintegration.