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The Formula of the East

The German Democratic Republic had its own Formula One: the so-called
“socialist racing community” ran in the Formula East against other
socialist countries. Hundreds of thousands came to see the men – and indeed
one woman – race in their self-built sports-cars.
The GDR came to an historic end whereas the socialist racing community is
still alive and well. The former racing grounds of Eastern Germany are the
new ones. We accompanied the drivers and their teams during the summer
racing season. We wanted to find out how they experienced reunification,
the complete and utter changes of their lives, how they deal with winning
and losing, what friendship means to them – and why driving fast is so much
Jürgen Meißner used to race at top level – but in 1989 he quit and never
again visited a racing ground until the summer of 2005.
Helga Heinrich was the only woman in the Formula East. She started driving
again – after a 21 year break.
Heinz Siegert never ever gave up his passion. He was the last champion of
the GDR and isn’t likely ever to step out of his racing car.
THE FORMULA OF THE EAST is no historic chronicle of some peculiar East
German sport. It is a film about living both in the past and in the
It’s a film about Germans in cars fifteen years after the unification.

Hof - Internationale Hofer Filmtage//29.10.2006