Brand New Films From Germany
November 21- December 1, 2019
In the 11th Brand New Films from Germany program, titled We are Family, Istanbul Modern Cinema brings a selection of films dealing with the concept of family and living together. In the program there are films about families that have been dispersed as well as alternative families made up of people who have chosen to live and work together. From master director Andreas Dresen, Gundermann depicts the real life story of famous musician Gerhard Gundermann. Sebastian Schipper's new film Roads investigates the contemporary refugee problem as it portrays the transformation of two young men following their journey from Morocco to France. Another film included in the selection is Die Toten Hosen - Tour 2018 (Weil du nur einmal lebst - Die Toten Hosen auf Tour) filmed during the 2018 tour of Die Toten Hosen, the famous German punk rock group who have been together for nearly 40 years.
As part of the program, director Schäfer and producer Çiğdem Mater will be in attendance during the screening of The Bachelor House. Another guest of the We Are Family program will be Cordula Kablitz-Post, the director of Die Toten Hosen: You Only Live Once. Following the film screenings, the guests will be taking questions from audience members.
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ADAM & EVELYN (ADAM UND EVELYN), 2018
Germany | DCP, Color, 100’ | German
Director: Andreas Goldstein
Cast: Florian Teichtmeister, Anne Kanis, Lena Lauzemis, Milian Zerzawy, Christin Alexandrow
Summer of 1989, East Germany. Adam is a tailor and Evelyn is a waitress. As a young couple, they are planning a vacation together at the Lake Balaton in Hungary. But when Evelyn finds out that Adam is cheating on her with another woman, she decides to leave for holiday with her best friend Simone and her cousin coming from the West. Adam also takes on the road in pursuit of Evelyn but runs into Katja on the way. Katja doesn’t have the right to travel across the border, so Adam transports her in his trunk. In the end, when they all make it to Balaton, they realize that the border between Hungary and Austria has been opened. Evelyn considers this as an opportunity to start a new life. Adam, on the other hand, struggles in the face of this sudden change. This first feature length film from East Germany born director Andreas Goldstein is an adaptation of Ingo Schulze’s book with the same title; a book which has been translated to over 10 different languages. Adam & Evelyn premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival as part of the International Film Critics Week. Goldstein was applauded for successfully depicting the spirit of the summer of 1989, a moment that became one of the milestones of twentieth century.
THE MOVER (ATLAS), 2018
Germany | DCP, Color, 100’|German
Director: David Nawrath
Cast: Rainer Bock, Albrecht Schuch, Thorsten Merten, Uwe Preuss, Roman Kanonik
Walter is a 60-year-old removal man working for a transport company dealing with forced evictions. The person he trusts the most is Roland Grone, the owner of the company. Walter ignores the physical pain caused by the manual labor involved in his work, just as he ignores the pain his actions inflict on the people whose private lives and spaces he intrudes each day. One day, his boss ventures forth into a risky real estate deal with a family involved in dirty business. An old building is to be emptied and then sold at a higher price again. However, the last remaining tenant in the building resists the forced eviction. Walter thinks that this tenant is his son, whom he abandoned years ago. Disguising his identity, he tries to get close to him and his family, but when he realizes how unreliable the people Grone is working with, Walter finds himself stuck in a difficult situation. In his first feature length film, director David Nawrath and his graceful cast members illustrate the very special story of a father and son who get closer against the atrocity caused by an illegal situation.
2019 Torino Best Actor (Rainer Bock), Special Jury Award
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUPLE (DAS SCHÖNSTE PAAR), 2018
Germany, France | DCP Color, 97’| German
Director: Sven Taddicken
Cast: Maximilian Brückner, Luise Heyer, Leonard Kunz, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Aurel Manthei
Liv and Malte's dreamy holiday at a Mediterranean island turns into a nightmare when three young men raid the house they are staying at and rape Liv. Liv and Malte – both teachers – return home to Germany, and slowly start adapting to their normal life, until one day Malte runs into one of the assailants and is filled with an insatiable hunger for revenge. The already delicate balance of the couple’s relationship is faced with danger once again. In his new film, Sven Taddicken depicts how a couple survives after a traumatic event through cast of detailed characters and their daily lives. This extraordinary but all the more hopeful love story has been acclaimed for its leading cast members and was nominated for the German Film Prize for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2019.
*This film contains scenes of sexuality/violence that might disturb some viewers.
I WAS AT HOME, BUT… (ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER…), 2019
Germany, Sırbistan | DCP, 105', Color | German
Director: Angela Schanelec
Cast: Maren Eggert, Jakob Lassalle, Clara Möller, Franz Rogowski, Lilith Stangenberg
One day, the 13 year-old Philipp disappears. A week later, he returns, but doesn’t talk about what happened. Philipp’s single mother Astrid and his teachers have no idea why he was lost and how he returned; they can only make assumptions. They think that his father’s death might be a reason, but they can’t make any sense of Philipp’s actions. As Astrid begins to question her bourgeois life and her career in the cultural arena of Berlin, Philipp is taken to the hospital due to a sepsis. Ridden with anxiety, feelings of failure and guilt, Astrid is inconsolable. Still, neither Philipp nor his little sister ever thinks to oppose their mother. As their family ties are slowly coming loose, they simultaneously start mending them. Film critic Neil Young describes Angela Schanelec's new film as “A complex, challenging but brilliant work.” One of the most mysterious and dramatic films of Schanelec, I was at home, but is a reflection of the language of art and life with its modest formal consistency.
2019 Berlin Best Director
Germany | DCP, Color, 128’| German
Cast: Alexander Scheer, Anna Unterberger, Axel Prahl, Thorsten Merten, Eva Weißenborn
Andreas Dresen's new film portrays the true story of Gerhard Gundermann (1955-1998), one of the most famous composers and musicians from the German Democratic Republic. A struggling musician, Gundermann works as an excavator operator at the coalmines in Lausitz during the day and goes up on stage at night. In a short time, he builds a reputation and a wide fan base. He addresses the concepts of life and death as well as political and social issues in his songs. As Gundermann starts becoming an idol for many people in the East Germany of the 1980s with his very personal and candid songs, he also starts to get into trouble with the government in power. Gundermann continues to be a revered individual during the collapse of the GDR – he even manages to expand his fan base. His success isn’t questioned even when his dealings with the secret police (STASI) of the GDR surface in 1995. In this acclaimed biopic, Andreas Dresen depicts a complex and often contradictory character as he illustrates the two sides of East Germany, and how it’s impossible to define the country as either black or white.
2019 German Film Awards Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Alexander Scheer), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
2019 Bavarian Film Awards Best Actor (Alexander Scheer)
2019 Tromsø FIPRESCI Prize
Germany, France | DCP, Color, 99’ |English, Spanish, French, German, Lingala
Director: Sebastian Schipper
Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Stéphane Bak, Moritz Bleibtreu, Ben Chaplin, Marie Burchard
The 18 year-old Gyllen from London, pinches his stepfather's recreational vehicle in order to escape from a family holiday in Morocco. He runs into William, a young man from the Congo who is attempting to cross Europe's borders in search of his brother. The two young men decide to join forces. With a youthful fervor for adventure, these two very different young men set off on the road from Morocco to Spain, France and finally end up in Calais. Blending diverse genres together, Roads is both a “coming of age story” and a road movie. At the same time, the movie investigates one of the most impending and important problems of today’s world: the problem of refugees.
THE GOLDFISH (DIE GOLDFISCHE), 2019
Germany | DCP, Color, 111’ | German
Director: Alireza Golafshan
Cast: Tom Schilling, Jella Haase, Axel Stein, Kida Khodr Ramadan, Birgit Minichmayr
Oliver is a high-rolling portfolio manager. As he is trying to make it to a meeting, he drives his car to the opposite lane, whizzing into a horrible accident. He wakes up from a coma to find that he is paralyzed and needs to recover at a rehabilitation facility. This three-month rehabilitation is meant to prepare him for the rest of his life where he needs to be in a wheelchair. However, what Oliver actually wants is to get out of this “prison for the disabled”. To make things worse, the Internet connection is dismal. As he tries to get a better signal, he finds himself inside a house where a group of disabled are living together. The name of the group is as odd as the group itself: “The Goldfish”. Although Oliver ignores his new limited capabilities, the realities force him to develop a risky plan, and he sets off on the road to Zurich with “The Goldfish”. The goal is to transport a large sum of dirty money across the border. Alireza Golafshan's first feature length film is an amusing and crazy road movie. This comedy filled with disabled characters is neither politically correct nor asks the audience to have pity on these characters, and is thus both very contemporary and very humane.
DIE TOTEN HOSEN – YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, 2019
Germany | DCP, Color, 107’ | German, English, Spanish
Directors: Paul Dugdale, Cordula Kablitz-Post
Die Toten Hosen from Dusseldorf is a phenomenon like no other! Founded in 1982, and rooted in the German punk movement, the group has been in the music business for the past 36 years. Politics and humor are present in their lyrics just like provocation as the group addresses the contemporary world in their own distinct manner. Over the years, 'Bis zum bitteren Ende' (To the Bitter End), one of their most famous songs has become a way of living, not only for group members, but also for their fans. Yet, could their vocalist Campino’s loss of hearing be a warning signal? For the first time ever, members of Die Toten Hosen find themselves considering the fact that they will have to call it quits at one point. Director Cordula Kablitz-Post accompanied the group during their 'Laune der Natour' tour in 2018. The footage that has been compiled makes for a candid portrait of the group, just as it allows Kablitz-Post to create a documentary about the crazy schedules of touring. Campino’s hearing loss arising in Berlin, a new start in Stuttgart and a magnificent final concert at a stadium in Dusseldorf... And to top this all off, a journey to Argentina, where the group has had a solid and loyal fan base for the past 26 years… All of these can be found in this documentary!
THE BACHELOR HOUSE (DAS JUNGGESELLENHAUS), 2019
Germany | DCP, Color, 76’ | Turkish, Kurdish
Director: Dirk Schäfer
A bachelor pad in Istanbul... The residents of the apartment are seven Kurdish men who make a living by working at construction sites or peddling various things around the city. Living far away from their homes, these men are all waiting eagerly for eid al-adha in order to visit their villages. One day their housemate Miro comes home with a surprise guest: a Van cat. Miro is being forced into a marriage by his family, while the woman he loves is in Istanbul. And this cat, which he brought back from his hometown is a gift for her.Merging documentary with melodrama, The Bachelor House offers a sneak peek into the inner workings of a male group. Due to their ethnicities, these men have limited control over their lives. German director, Dirk Schäfer, who has been living in Istanbul for a long time, weaves his own meticulous insights into the daily lives of these men as he depicts their portraits poetically.
O BEAUTIFUL NIGHT, 2019
Germany | DCP, Color, 89’ | German, Russian, Korean
Director: Xaver Böhm
Cast: Noah Saavedra, Marko Mandić, Vanessa Loibl
Hypochondriac Juri’s heart seems to stop when he realizes that he is being followed by a raven. Because of the bird, Juri falls into the clutches of a man with a weird accent, who claims that he is the embodiment of death. This sets Juri off on a night-long journey around race car tracks and opium bars. At one of these pitstops, Juri meets a mysterious woman named Nina. A stripper, Nina takes her place next to death who has become the designated driver of this ‘muscle car’ and joins this uncanny duo on their way to hell. Juri is in the backseat. His heart seems to be beating out of control, because he has fallen in love with Nina. However, there is no cheating death. The director and illustrator from Berlin, Xaver Böhm's action-packed first film is also a ‘dream journey’ transfered onto images. Shiny Vanitas paintings, deserted streets and fancy spaces decorated with a retro-romantic style all merge into one another. Throughout this journey accompanied with a score that reminds one of neon-light filled nightclubs, Juri tries to decide what he wants from life as he also tries to make sense of his fellow travellers.
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