On the edge of an abyss, things are always particularly exciting. Especially when it comes to movies. And it is exactly in this situation that many of the protagonists find themselves in the six entries selected to complete the programme of twelve films in this year’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
In Dorfpunks, Lars Jessen’s adaptation of Rocko Schamoni’s cult novel of the same name, some punks have moved of their own free will to a village. They see themselves as the small heroes of this even smaller community in Holstein Switzerland. Once again, director Lars Jessen, who as the winner of the 2005 Max Ophüls Prize for Am Tag als Bobby Ewing starb (The Day Bobby Ewing Died) had a special screening in this section a few years back, demonstrates with wit and precision his ability to make the particular weirdness of the 1980s visible, tangible, audible.
In contrast, fate strikes Karen (Franziska Petri) like a bolt of lightning. The mathematics teacher cannot be blamed for the death of her best pupil’s sister, but she is the “Unfallgegner”, as it is ruthlessly called in legal German, the “opponent involved in the accident”. Lars-Gunnar Lotz takes this fatal constellation and creates the powerful psychodrama Für Miriam (Baden-Württemberg Film Academy).
The two brothers Nico and Milos, Roma from former Yugoslavia, went their separate ways at an early age. As adults they meet again, only to find themselves on opposite sides. Nico is a policeman; Milos, the suspect in a serious crime. Director Stefan Schaller uses the plot of his film Jedem das Seine not just to make a suspenseful mystery but, above all, a cleverly constructed story about identity and loyalty (Baden-Württemberg Film Academy).
This is also the topic of Fliegen, the 25-minute feature by director Piotr J. Lewandowski from Offenbach. To avoid being deported, small-time hood Dima (Jacob Matschenz), who is originally from Eastern Europe, hides out at the apartment of Sarah (Sandra Hüller), a student, who then decides to make a documentary about the man. Shooting the film turns into a very personal adventure.
The protagonists of the last two documentaries in the programme do not shun risks either.
In Achterbahn, life for funfair worker Norbert Witte is like a roller-coaster ride, both literally and figuratively. Peter Dörfler turns this man’s journey - from Gondola King of Berlin’s Plänterwald amusement park to drug dealer from Peru - into a documentary as riveting and alive as any true thriller.
Less spectacular, but no less gripping is the criminal career of rock bassist Hans Narva (who has, for instance played with the band “Herbst in Peking”). In the documentary Hans im Glück, Claudia Lehmann accompanies this non-conventionalist on his wanderings through present-day Berlin – and finds herself on a trip into East Germany’s past.
Films in Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2009:
Achterbahn (Catapult) by Peter Dörfler (documentary)
Distanz (Distance) by Thomas Sieben
Dorfpunks by Lars Jessen
Fliegen (Fly) by Piotr J. Lewandowski
Für Miriam (For Miriam) by Lars-Gunnar Lotz
Gitti von Anna Deutsch (documentary)
Hans im Glück (Berlin Playground) by Claudia Lehmann (documentary)
Höllenritt (Roller Coaster) by Martin Busker
Jedem das Seine (To Each His Own) by Stefan Schaller
Nur für einen Augenblick (In the Blink of an Eye) by Abel Lindner
Polar by Michael Koch
Wir sind schon mittendrin (Generation Undecided) by Elmar Szücs (documentary)
January 13, 2009