Original Film Title: Bésame Mucho & the East Side Gallery Berlin
Director’s Name: Gilbert Brüning
Writer’s Name: Gilbert Brüning
Country of Origin: Germany
Country of Filming: Germany
Runtime: 4 minutes
After a call for help from the East German Association of Fine Artists of the GDR to the West German Association of Fine Artists (BBK) in Frankfurt am Main in November 1989 to help the GDR artists who had become unemployed, led to negotiations to merge the two associations. Since October 1989 the GDR artists had received no more income from previous state contracts. After months of talks and discussions, including about how the artists can earn money with their art in West Germany, the plans for a joint project “East Side Gallery” were forged. In February 1990, after obtaining permission from the still east German Ministry of National Defense, it was officially established the project “East Side Gallery”. On September 28, 1990 the East Side Gallery was officially opened.
With their unique works of art on the wall, the artists created evidence that the desire for freedom can overcome all boundaries, all violence and coercive measures. 118 artists from 21 countries created over one hundred paintings over a length of 1316 meters. They expressed their joy that the Wall had fallen and the Cold War was over. The “East Side Gallery” is therefore a historical place with a unique dual character. On the one hand it is a place of artistic freedom and a symbol of joy and happiness over the peaceful overcoming of the German division and it is also a strong testimony to the GDR border regime on the other hand. The film shows above all the enthusiasm of the people at the “East Side Gallery” in front of the picture “Brotherly Kiss” by Dimitri Wladimirowitsch. It shows the welcoming kiss between Leonid Breshnew and Erich Honecker in 1979. Breshnew had come to the state celebrations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the GDR.