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Published on Jan 19, 2012
The Wende Museum has digitized a selection of 8mm and Super 8mm films from its Hoffman Collection of 31 home movies. Meticulously labeled with homemade titles that begin and end many of the films, this collection is at once extraordinary and ordinary. They present a compelling and valuable counterpoint to the DEFA-produced films in the Museum's moving image collection. Home movies serve an important role, documenting history in a way that no other medium can. Created between 1939 and 1969, with the majority of the collection dating from 1955 to 1964, they are in black and white or in color and capture holidays and birthdays, trips to the mountains and to the Baltic Sea, and everyday family life. As Patricia Zimmerman remarked in her article Morphing History in Histories: From Amateur Film to the Archive of the Future, "Home movies are a record of the fantasies of family life, of gender relations, of parenting styles, of family rituals...of life at a specific moment."