Cinema in Germany can be traced back to the late 19th century. German cinema has made major technical and artistic contributions to film.

Unlike any other national cinemas, which developed in the context of relatively continuous and stable political systems, Germany witnesses major changes to its identity during the 20th Century. That changes determined the periodisation of national cinema into a succession of distinct eras and movements.

Today's biggest producers include Bavaria Film, Constantin Film, Studio Hamburg, and UFA. Recent film releases such as Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer, Good Bye Lenin! by Wolfgang Becker, Head-On by Fatih Akin, and Downfall by Oliver Hirschbiegel have arguably managed to recapture the provocative and innovative nature of 1970s New German cinema. A number of modern German films such as Downfall, Sophie Scholl – The Final Days, The Lives of Others and The Counterfeiters address the nature of totalitarianism in 20th Century Germany.

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