Thursday, August 31, 2017

RIP Egon Günther

Director and writer Egon Günther is dead

By Rochus Görgen
August 31, 2017

He once lured Lilli Palmer to the East for "Lotte in Weimar" - later Egon Günther himself went to the West. At the age of 90, the film director has died in Potsdam.

Potsdam - The film director and writer Egon Günther died at 90 years of age. He died on Thursday in Potsdam after a long, serious illness, as the Aufbau-Verlag, referring to the family communicated. Günther was born in Schneeberg in the Erzgebirge and was known in the GDR with films like "Lotte in Weimar" or "Der Dritte". After discussions with the GDR leadership he worked in the west from the end of the seventies.

One of his greatest successes was the fact that the GDR was part of the film festivals in Cannes for the first time with "Lotte in Weimar" (1974). The fact that he had also lied to the actress Lilli Palmer to get her to come to the East in front of the camera for the Goethe film of Defa was then considered a sensation. This gave the radical avant-garde not only a reputation in the GDR, but also international attention.

Film ban: The GDR did not want any debates about truth and honesty

But Günther broke with the GDR leadership step by step. In 1977, he left the Association of Film and Television Producers of the GDR. A year later, he directed the West, including a co-production of the GDR television with Switzerland. But the film "Ursula" was banned after only one broadcast on East German television in the East. From then on Günther worked only in the Federal Republic, much for television. "His productions stand out from the German television program, but they cannot achieve the quality of his earlier work," says the Defa Foundation.

After the fall, Günther returned to the East, where he lived most recently in the district of Großglienicke in Potsdam. It was not until 1990 that his film "If You're Big, Adam" was born, which arose in 1965 but was banned in the GDR. He is about ten-year-old Adam, who has a lamp that lets every liar float in the air, but the GDR leadership did not want any debates about truth and honesty. Günther taught for a while also as a professor of the Filmhochschule Babelsberg.

Jann Jakobs: "One of the greats of German cinema has left us today."

In addition to his film work, Günther also worked as a writer. He filmed his last book "The Bride" with Veronica Ferres in the title role (1999). Once again the film about Johann Wolfgang Goethe - this time around the relationship of the poet prince with the simple flower girl Christiane Vulpius, once beloved and later wife of Goethe.

Potsdam's Mayor Jann Jakobs (SPD) declared in a first reaction: "One of the greats of German cinema has left us today. I personally also feel Egon Günther's death as a great loss. "He congratulated him on the 90th birthday at the end of March, "And now the director has left us such important works as" Lotte in Weimar "and" The Sorrows of Young Werther ". This is a sad day for the state capital, for the German cinema and for all the people who have grown up with their wonderful films."

Born: 3/30/1927, Schneeberg, Saxon, Germany
Died: 8/31/2017, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germanny

Egon Günther’s westerns – screenwriter, actor.
Chingachgook: The Great Snake – 1967 [screenwriter]
Blue Hawk – 1979 (Archie)

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