Egon Günther ranked with Konrad Wolf, Frank Beyer, and Heiner Carow as one of the former East Germany's most influential "second generation" directors. Before involving himself in film, Günther attended Leipzig University where between 1948 and 1951, he studied German philology, educational theory, and philosophy. After working as a teacher and a publisher's reader, Günther became a script adviser and writer at DEFA Features Studio. He directed his first film, Lots Weib/Lot's Wife, in 1965. Günther collaborated on the script, as he would with many subsequent films. Though he completed his second film, Wenn du Groth Bist, Lieber Adam/When Do You Grow Up, Dear Adam, that same year, it was banned until 1990. After that setback, Günther specialized in literary adaptations, beginning with the internationally acclaimed Abschied (1968). When not directing feature films, Günther works frequently on television, writes novels, and publishes poetry.