The last film screening in Berlin was held on 3 July. It was especially attended by youngsters and that can be explained by the topic of the movie- Hip-hop culture in socialism, break dance, graffiti art, beat street influences- topics relatable with young people nowadays.
“Back in the days” tells a little-known but dazzling piece of GDR history. Breakdancers, musicians and sprayers of the time tell of graffiti in the NVA, smuggled goods from the West, self-designed clothes and of a colourful republic in grey everyday life. The documentary presents previously unseen amateur footage from the beginnings to the GDR’s big TV shows towards the end of the 1980s.
When the first images of American break-dancers spilled over the Western television behind the Iron Curtain, young people in the GDR began to dance – in public places and streets – observed suspiciously by the state, chased away by the police and even imprisoned.
“The tiny little protected world of the GDR only gave me the opportunity to be a colourful bird” Bernhard Beatschmidt from Dessau, like many others, was infected with the hip-hop virus in 1983.
It shows how self expression through music, dance, art is a natural part of human reaction to limitations and restrictions. What’s interesting is that movie reveals also that within few years it was totally accepted also by authorities because it was so rapidly and widely spread.