We’re very excited to partner with KINO! Germany NOW! to present a handpicked selection of Germany’s most promising narrative and documentary films that premiered within the last year, many of them directed by women. Along with these films, a short-film program compiled by the German Short Film Association. KINO! Germany NOW! introduces 13 films by 14 up-and-coming directors from Germany, all with distinct backgrounds and their own personal approaches to filmmaking.
While unique in terms of style and genre, four of the five fiction titles focus on their protagonists’struggle to assimilate into contemporary Germany: In Visar Morina’s Exile, the prickly protagonist is a Kosovo-born pharmaceutical engineer who feels bullied by his German co-workers. The likable heroine of Hüseyin Tabak’s Gipsy Queen is a single mother hoping to make it in the boxing ring. In I Was I Am I Will Beby Ilker Çatak, an ambitious Turkish gigolo gets an unexpected opportunity to work and study in Germany. Burhan Qurbani’s Berlin Alexanderplatz updates the classic novel to center on an undocumented immigrant who vows to be a good person but finds few paths open for him. Meanwhile, the horror-thriller Sleep by Michael Venus follows a young woman to a small village where she stumbles upon a Nazi cult while trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s breakdown. The subjects explored by the documentaries range far and wide: In Born in Evin, German-Iranian actress Maryam Zaree chronicles the circumstances of her birth inside one of the world’s most notorious prisons. Natalija Yefimkina’s Garage People takes a look at a unique Russian phenomenon. Carmen Losmann’s Oeconomia journeys into the heartlands of neoliberalism and explains its inner workings in layman’s terms. And last, in Walchensee Forever, key events of the 20th century impact the lives of four generations of women in director Janna Ji Wonders’ family. The short-film program “Power Games” includes four award-winning shorts: Just A Guy by Shoko Hara, Land of Glory by Borbala Nagy, Masel Tov Cocktail by Arkadij Khaet and Mickey Paatzsch, and Top Down Memory by Daniel Theiler. These films explore radical and extremist tendencies worldwide, the idea that history seems destined to repeat itself, and the role that power can play even in unexpected situations.
This film collection is presented in partnership with The German Film Office, The Goeth-Institut, German Films, and Kino Lorber. Now available in our Streaming Cinema until April 11, 2021.
Berlin Alexanderplatz, dir. Burhan Qurbani
Exile, dir. Visar Morina
Gipsy Queen, dir. Hüseyin Tabak
I Was I Am I Will Be, dir. Ilker Çatak
Sleep, dir. Michael Venus
Born in Evin, dir. Maryam Zaree
Garage People, dir. Natalija Yefimkina
Oeconomia, Carmen Losmann
Walchensee Forever, von Janna Ji Wonders
Short films (“Power Games”):
Just A Guy, dir. Shoko Hara
Land of Glory, dir. Bórbola Nagy
Masel Tov Cocktail, dir. Arkadij Khaet, Mickey Paatzsch
Top Down Memory, dir. Daniel Theil
Frida Content Editor Reggie Peralta analyzes five films directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune.