Multilayered documentary about the dissolution of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR:
Half a hundred buildings, a thousand rooms, bunkers, its own prisons - the Berlin central complex of the former Ministry of State Security. Workplaces of desk jockeys, hunters, surveillance officers. A labyrinth of human alienation.
A dialogue: Confessions of involved officials - with alert sense they lived the antagonism of power, incapable of human alternative.
A mirror: human dimensions of a confrontation about power mechanisms and their functioning, about destruction and cracks in the psychograms of perpetrators and victims alike.
This color documentary reports on the dissolution of the building complex of the Ministry for State Security (MfS) in Normannenstraße in Berlin-Lichtenberg. On January 15, 1990, in a spontaneous and peaceful action, courageous GDR citizens occupied the power center of the MfS. Members of the educated citizens' movement gained entry to the secret district and painstakingly set about looking through the archives. The interviews of three former officers and department heads of the MfS shown here and the statements of four committed members of the citizens' committee reveal how confusing the structures of the ministry were and how difficult it is for outsiders to find their way through the files and documents. This documentary is rounded off by MfS observation videos, tributes to Minister Erich Mielke, recordings of his speeches, and even the banquet on the occasion of the GDR's 40th anniversary. It tells of the power and loss of power of the rulers and of the hope and resignation of the members of the Citizens' Committee. (Text source: DEFA Foundation)