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Documentaries

Asylum in Paradise - Tamara Danz

Tamara Danz was East Germany's answer to Tina Turner or Patti Smith. She was unconventional, rebellious and highly intelligent - and she was a star. Peter Kahane's two-part documentary is a love story.

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Tamara Danz, East German superstar

The object of the devotion, Tamara Danz, was lead singer for the band Silly, formed in East Germany in 1978. She died of cancer in 1996 at age 43. Tamara had taken Silly and its own brand of German rock to heights of success unheard-of in the East. Tamara was named "female rock singer of the year" seven times in East Germany, and three of Silly's releases made it to "LP of the year".

23.05.2008 Im Focus Danz 2

LP of the Year for 1986 in East Germany: Bataillon d'Amour

This documentary is not a portrait of a celebrity singer nor of a band. Neither does it pretend to be a chapter in the history of East German rock. It is an intimate, almost private look at this East German pop icon and the emptiness her untimely death left behind in the hearts of those who knew her.

Keyboardist Rüdiger Barton, guitar player Uwe Hassbecker and bass player Hans-Jürgen Reznicek tell stories that reflect human episodes in Tamara's life - a life she began as the daughter of a diplomat in Romania and Bulgaria. Inspired by the fate that met her father, she made rock music that was often critical of the regime. Her mother Helene supported and took care of the band.

23.05.2008 Im Focus Danz 1

Friends and rivals: Uwe Hassbecker and Rüdiger Barton

But this is a story of two loves that came very close to breaking it up, as told frankly and openly by the two men involved. Rüdiger Barton and Uwe Hassbecker were Tamara's partners on stage and off. Tamara Danz got Rüdiger Barton established in East Berlin's music scene. He lived and worked with her until he lost her to her future husband Uwe Hassbecker.

The title "Asylum in Paradise" is taken from a song on the last album Tamara recorded with the band, Paradise, released in spring, 1996, shortly before her death. The lyrics go:

Give me asylum here in paradise
Where nobody can ever get to me
Give me asylum here in paradise
Just a minute for me to stop and breathe

23.05.2008 Im Focus Danz 5

Silly sold over a million LPs

Silly is still going. Tamara Danz herself made sure the band would not break up after her death - she made the men promise they would carry on.

Broadcasting Times Part 1:

DW-TV
TUES 03.06.2008 - 18:30 UTC
WED 04.06.2008 - 06:30 UTC
THURS 05.06.2008 - 12:30 UTC

DW-TV USA/LATIN AMERICA
TUES 03.06.2008 - 18:30 UTC
WED 04.06.2008 - 06:30 UTC
THURS 05.06.2008 - 12:30 UTC

Broadcasting Times Part 2:

DW-TV
TUES 10.06.2008 - 18:30 UTC
WED 11.06.2008 - 06:30 UTC
THURS 12.06.2008 - 12:30 UTC

DW-TV USA/LATIN AMERICA
TUES 10.06.2008 - 18:30 UTC
WED 11.06.2008 - 06:30 UTC
THURS 12.06.2008 - 12:30 UTC