Hotel Astoria

  • Alina Cyranek, Falk Schuster
  • Germany
  • 2020
  • 28 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

It is 1996. A receptionist shows one of the suites in Hotel Astoria in Leipzig, in former East Germany. She expresses the hope that a “guardian angel” will still save Astoria from oblivion. Seven years after the fall of the wall, the curtain is also falling on the legendary hotel.

Memories of this place, where extravagance was also on ration, are brought to life through a combination of archive footage and animation. We hear about the nuances and absurdities of life in the GDR, from turtle soup in a country known for scarcity to the hotel bar where prostitutes, tourists, and Stasi agents all hung out. These agents kept an eye on everything that happened; the paranoia that characterized the GDR era was just as present in the hotel.

These contradictions are also reflected in the testimonials of the employees. Some remember a culture of fear, while others describe it as the best time of their lives. It shows that different historical experiences can co-exist, and that there are gray areas between propaganda and reality.


  • 28 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: German
  • Subtitles in: English
Alina Cyranek, Falk Schuster
Alina Cyranek / hug films, Falk Schuster / hug films
Falk Schuster
Falk Schuster, Alexander Schmidt, Tim Romanowsky
Alina Cyranek

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history

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