The spirit of the millennial generation is also evident in a certain compulsion towards self-realisation and individualisation. On the one hand, there is a great sense of isolation; on the other, a desire for community and stability. This is exemplified by Jana Bürgelin’s Millennials: in this film Anne Zohra Berrached, who last year presented her graduation film 24 Wochen (24 Weeks) in the Berlinale Competition, plays the successful director Anne. Her flatmate Leo (Leonel Dietsche) is a photographer who is struggling to get his work recognised. Both work a lot, fight for their projects and trek through Berlin in search of belonging. The documentary Könige der Welt (We Were Kings) by Christian von Brockhausen and Timo Großpietsch, about the band PICTURES who, as Union Youth were successful at the turn of the millennium, delivers a really great soundtrack for the films of this generation.
Personal films with urgency
Can the incorporation of personal experience also hinder the creation of an individual film language?
If you don’t have enough distance from the subject matter, you naturally run the risk of ending up filming a diary entry. Especially for new filmmakers where personal stories and topics like first love, the first break-up, the search for a lost father, crop up time and again. On the other hand, it is these personal films that can be particularly strong and emotional. The audience feel the urgency with which the filmmakers are telling their stories: they have to let these thoughts out otherwise they’ll burst. Adrian Goiginger, for example, has made his own childhood into a film. He grew up with a heroin-addicted mother and, in Die Beste aller Welten (The Best of All Worlds), he depicts the love of his mother who, in spite of her drug addiction, gave him a happy childhood – the best of all worlds, in fact. The director has found a form of storytelling that makes their love for each other feel so intimate that in the end every audience member in the cinema will want to adopt the eight-year-old boy and (!) his mother. This is surprisingly self-assured cinema which tells a universal story.