Konrad Wolf was East Germany's best director, and this is arguably his best film. It examines the relationship of two people right before the wall was built. Had this film been released a year or two later there is a good chance that it would have ended up on the extensive list of films that were banned after the 11th Plenum (although being Markus Wolf's brother probably had its perks). It features an array of dazzling film techniques. In one scene, while a group of men are talking, the camera circles them endlessly. A few years later, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and his cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus, would gain international acclaim for the same technique. As one Western critic said about this film, "The New German Cinema happened first at DEFA." Like most DEFA films, the pacing is leisurely. Some may find it too slow for that reason. If you don't mind DEFA's quiet, methodical approach the cinema, this one is a classic.