Winfried and Barbara Junge’s long-term observation of the Children of Golzow presents a series of 18 individual biographies in which pupils of the East German village are featured, both in observation and with their own comments. In a longitudinal observation lasting almost five decades, the Children of Golzow has followed these children who started school in August 1961, thereby creating a unique perspective on growing-up in the German Democratic Republic, on adulthood and daily life, as well as on the impact of reunification on the biographical trajectories of its protagonists. The series encompasses nineteen films made between 1961 and 2007. Worldwide, the Children of Golzow project is only rivaled in length by the British UP series (1964-2012, directed by Paul Almond, Michael Apted); together, these are the longest-running chronicles in the history of international documentary.
Winfried Junge was born in Berlin in 1935. He enrolled in the German Literature program at the Humboldt University in 1953, then transferred to the newly-founded German Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg a year later to study dramaturgy. After graduating in 1958, he began his work as a dramaturg at the DEFA Studio for Popular Science Films, and later worked primarily as an assistant director to Karl Gass. Both directors joined the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films in 1961. Aside from the Golzow Project, Junge has made some fifty documentaries for both cinema and television, including productions filmed in Syria, Somalia, Libya, Great Britain, and the Ukraine. His oeuvre also includes one feature film for children, Der tapfere Schulschwänzer.
Barbara Junge was born in 1943 in Neunhofen and graduated from Karl-Marx-University in Leipzig as an English and Russian translator. From 1969 she worked at the DEFA Studio for Documentary Film in charge of foreign language versions. Since 1978 she has been the archivist of the Golzow Project, has edited all of Winfried Junge’s films since 1983 and since 1993 has also co-directed.