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Der Ost-Komplex

At the age of 17 Mario Röllig tried to escape from the GDR via Hungary to join his boyfriend in West Berlin. He was arrested and questioned in the Stasi Prison at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. Today he visits schools and conferences as a contemporary ...


“I was very noticeable, I was young and I was very, very gay. I had black, sport leather shoes on, pink sock and blue-and-pink checked jeans,” says Mario Roellig about his attempted escape from the GDR over the Hungarian border. Director Jochen Hick asks, “And you mean that was good for the escape?” Rollig looks directly into the camera: “Well, I wanted to go down well in the West and not look mangy/scruffy. THE EAST-COMPLEX lives from the charm of its Berlin protagonists, but it is quickly clear how much they still struggle with the past. The escape attempt did not succeed on that occasion. The then 17-year-old Rollig was arrested, given over to the GDR authorities and spent three months in a Stasi interrogation prison. He was later redeemed by West Germany. Ten years later, after accidentally meeting his interrogator, Mario suffered a breakdown. Jochen Hick accompanies Mario Rollig to the places of his escape attempt and in his everyday work as a professional witness. Rollig leads tours around the former Stasi prison, speaks about his experiences in schools, at party conferences, and at a trip to the United States. DER OST-KOMPLEX shows how fresh the divisons and how deep the trenches within German society still are: On 10th of January every year demonstrators of Rosa Luxembourg demo and the Association of Victims of Stalinism are irreconcilable. Rollig feels that – despite being gay and active in helping refugees – he is best represented by the CDU. An aged participant of one of Roellig tours thinks, “He could have stayed in the GDR. He had everything on offer there.”

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Paul Sharatt


Deutschland 2016, 90 min
Genre: Documentary
Director: Jochen Hick
Author: Jochen Hick
DOP: Nicolai Zörn, Jochen Hick
Distributor: Basis-Film Verleih
FSK: 12
Release: 10.11.2016


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