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The Celluloid Curtain |

Spy films from the Cold War era, seen from today, present us with a brilliantly complex puzzle: action, high tension, beautiful women and technical wizardry are blended in a fast and furious cinematic cocktail, which nonetheless offers many a disillusioned hero the opportunity to reflect on their situation.

Spy films from that period document the spirit of their time and mirror the ideological trench warfare and the nuclear threat of the 1960s. A good half century later, in the age of Al-Qaida, WikiLeaks and the confrontation over the Iranian nuclear programme, they still have a depressing ring of truth. The film series "The Celluloid Curtain" records how this historical film genre, lying somewhere between popular culture and propaganda, still has the power to fascinate us today.


The Films


"A Bomb Was Stolen"

A young man in a suit picks a flower. A military battalion suddenly appears, complete with helicopter. Our hero – no name, no history, no mission – is clearly the wrong man in the wrong place.


"Haber´s Photo Shop"

Gábor Csiky, just released from jail, follows up a tip and goes for a job interview at Haber´s photo shop. The most important cell in a spy ring works out of a room behind the shop.


"Rendezvous with a Spy"

The sea, a submarine, suspicious goings-on in the half-light...a mysterious man flies into Poland in a balloon. But his incursion has been watched by the Polish security service: the hunt begins.


"Starling and Lyre"

Soviet spies Ludmila und Fyodor infiltrate the top ranks of West German industry, where the bosses, with American support, are trying to rebuild post-war Germany to its former glory...


"The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"

Alec Leamas is in charge of the deployment of all British agents in West Berlin and the GDR. One day, his East German counterpart brings off a coup and destroys the entire network of British agents.

English Version: The Celluloid Curtain

"There is Nothing Finer than Bad Weather"

The scene: a west European city, that looks much like Berlin. Bulgarian superspy Emil Boev gets hired by the Zodiac company, which is a cover for a spy ring.


"For Eyes Only"

"For Eyes Only" retrospectively creates from the (never proven) accusation, that the West was harbouring a plan to attack the GDR, the material for a highly ideological spy film.


"High Season for Spies"

The central ploy is a brand new technology (here it is an indestructible steel alloy) and agents from different secret services have to ensure that its formula does not get into the wrong hands.



After a car accident in West Berlin, Czechoslovak immigrant František Král suffers from amnesia. A western news service sees an opportunity: they give him a new face and train him as a spy.


"The Great Spy Chase"

When one an important arms manufacturer dies, French secret agent Francis Lagneau is sent to call on his beautiful widow in order to relieve the patents for a weapon of mass destruction he left her.


"The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse"

Fritz Lang´s visionary prediction of the rise and rise of the CCTV camera. A re-incarnation of the legendary Dr. Mabuse takes over the spy cameras installed in a hotel built in the Nazi era.

Weitere Inhalte


The Celluloid Curtain

Agentenfilme aus der Ära des Kalten Krieges gleichen aus heutiger Sicht einem schillernden Vexierbild: Action, Spannung und Heldenmut vermischen sich zu einem cineastisch einzigartigen Genre-Cocktail.