In a Land That No Longer Exists

by Aelrun Goette

A film about beauty, joie de vivre and freedom in the former GDR. Inspired by true events.

East Berlin, early summer 1989, a few months before the fall of the Wall. 18-year-old Suzie is thrown headfirst into the vibrant fashion scene in socialist East Germany when a photo of her ends up on the cover of Sibylle, the Vogue of the East. Together with the glamourous Rudi, she dives into the dazzling underground subculture working on their very own fantastic and passionate fashion designs. When she falls in love with the talented and rebellious photographer Coyote, her life ultimately changes. On his "Indian" motorbike, they speed towards the beach and Suzie lives the freedom she had always dreamed of. But while Suzie's star as a supermodel is on the rise, Coyote has other plans and Suzie is asked to betray her friends. Now Suzie must decide: what price is she willing to pay?Between photographers, models, new ideas and lifestyles, the film is based on true events and inspired by the director's own experiences as a model in the late 80s in the German Democratic Republic. A work that hovers between the personal and the public, emotions and political coherence, becoming an energetic hymn to beauty and freedom along the way.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 101 minutes
Original title
In einem Land das es nicht mehr gibt
directed by
Aelrun Goette (UNDER THE ICE)
director of photography
Benedict Neuenfels (I'M YOUR MAN, STYX)
screenplay by
Aelrun Goette (UNDER THE ICE)
produced by
Ziegler Film GmbH & Co. KG in a co-production with TOBIS, Studio Babelsberg and Gretchenfilm
  • Marlene Burow
  • Claudia Michelsen (MACK THE KNIFE, THE TOWER)

Press Quotes

"Aelrun Goette sets a monument to this not only fashion-wild time right before the fall of the Berlin Wall."
FAZ Magazine

"The fashion scene in the GDR was livelier than many believe - as a new film now shows"

"Aelrun Goette's long-awaited new feature perfectly captures the zeitgeist."“Claudia Michelsen plays the boss with beautiful ambivalence.”

"Aelrun Goette's direction and screenplay tell a stirring and entertaining story about a universal human power that was inherent in the people of the GDR, about setting out into life and about how freedom can only really be lived when there are still dreams."
" ...resembles a journey through time, which captivates the cinema-goers who travel along with it."

"An enchanting, life-affirming film about a young woman who defies the adversities of life in the GDR"

"This film is fascinating"
Hubertus Meyer-Burckhardt

"A multi-layered, entertaining and smart film."
German Film and Media Review

"Everything but gray"
Brigitte WIR

"evokes the liberating, subversive spirit of fashion"

"A great film, really well done!"
NDR Talkshow

"So much for the GDR being only gray. Aelrun Goette tells of fashion, beauty and strong 'East-German women'."
Süddeutsche Zeitung

"A stirring, well-researched and excellently cast film."
Rolling Stone

"A dazzlingly beautiful film"
ARD Tagesthemen

"A story of inner freedom and boundless empowerment"

"A scintillating story in the midst of real-socialist everyday life"

"A motion picture celebrates the pioneers of those days"

"A film about the fashion of the GDR that fits perfectly into today."

"A wonderful film about the passion and dreams of the people"

"A visual delight"
Blickpunkt Film

Selected Festivals & Awards

Film Festival Hamburg
Rome Film Fest