The Berlinale, running February 10 through 20, has announced today that "Perspektive Deutsches Kino, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011, will show eleven films in all, five of which are documentaries." And they are…
Der Preis (The Prize) by Elke Hauck. The working title was Gestern ist nirgendwo (Yesterday is Nowhere) and german films reported on the production last year. The story "centers on a thirty-something architect living and working in Frankfurt who is sent by his boss to Thuringia [in what was once East Germany] to his home town to oversee a conversion project for the housing estate he had originally designed. 'Against his will, he has to deal with his past and the ghosts of the past, including meeting his childhood sweetheart again after all these years,' [producer Martin] Lehwald explains. 'Little by little, he realizes that he must accept some responsibility for the suicide of his best friend. 20 years have passed and he hadn't been able to summon up the strength to address this or to visit his best friend's sister, his former love. The two boys had taken different paths in their development: one had always been against the system, the other had always tried to find a way to live within the system, even if he did have other ideas of how things should be. And so they came to drift apart.'" Christoph Hochhäusler's looking forward to it.
Dígame - Sag mir (Dígame – Tell me) by Josephine Frydetzki. Here's the synopsis from the HFF Konrad Wolf: "Esteban — a city during celebrations — Buenos Aires. Esteban takes a drag from his cigarette. Independence Day. People waving flags. Singing. Dancing. Esteban gets pushed, and poked. Everything tumbles in on himself. Tell me: Is indepepence possible? Even if you are loving? Nothing turns out well for Esteban (Rafael Spregelburd): His record shop gets closed down, his son believes he is a looser and so far he depended on the wealth of his former wife. But during Argentinians Bicentennerial Independence Day he decides to liberate himself."
Die Ausbildung (The Education) by Dirk Lütter. From unafilm: "Jan Westheim is in his final year at school. He wants to do everything right. But what is the right thing when pressure's growing on Jan and his friends because of an ongoing restructuring? The Education shows us the way the system works in the modern working world and its influence on people's lives."
Eisblumen (Ice Flowers) by Susan Gordanshekan. From the Berlinale's December 20 press release: "The young Bosnian Amir (Arnel Taci) in Eisblumen has no permit to stay in Germany and so works illegally as a caregiver for Frau Osterloh (Renate Grosser), who is afflicted with dementia. His whole family is in Bosnia, and so he feels isolated and aches to talk to his mother."
Kamakia – Die Helden der Insel (Kamakia - Heroes of the Islands) by Jasin Challah (documentary). Berlinale: "[S]how master and unusual chronicler Kosta Rapadopoulos sets out in search of ageing Greek lovers who experienced their prime in the 1970s with German, Swedish and other northern European (blond) women. Are they and their tales still alive? And who are the Kamakia today?"
Kampf der Königinnen (Battle of the Queens) by Nicolas Steiner (documentary). From the Berlinale's press release: "Drawing on the tradition of 'direct cinema' in his black-and-white film Kampf der Königinnen (Battle of the Queens), Nicolas Steiner documents a tourist attraction: cow fighting in an arena at Aproz, a village in the Swiss Alps. Steiner departs from 'pure observation' in an extremely aesthetic final wrestling match, which is underscored by a battalion of percussion instruments that includes kettledrums as well as diverse alp- and cow horns, arranged by John Gürtler and Jan Miserre. Young visitors on their mopeds and breeders, who are long-time residents of the area, reflect the balancing act that takes place between tradition and modernity."
Lollipop Monster by Ziska Riemann. Again, December 20: "In Lollipop Monster, artist Ziska Riemann has transformed her comic-strip illustrations into a colourful teenage pop drama with many typical features of the genre. Emotional, shrill and zany, the visuals in the film use her drawing style to give the story, revolving around the two girls Ariane (Jella Haase) and Oona (Sarah Horváth), the right look. Ziska Riemann wrote the screenplay with her old school friend Luci van Org (♫ Weil ich ein Mädchen bin), who has already demonstrated with her music that she is an expert in adolescent antics."
Rotkohl und Blaukraut (Turkish Kraut) by Anna Hepp (documentary, image above). Berlinale: "Where do people say 'Rotkohl' for red cabbage and where do they say 'Blaukraut'? And do they actually mean the same thing? The first full-length film by Anna Hepp portrays two young families from the Ruhr region for the period of a month; the one family is of German-Turkish descent, the other of Turkish-German — or maybe it's the other way around? With the distinct humour of the region, the protagonists depict what bridges two different cultures, traditions and religions."
Utopia Ltd. by Sandra Trostel (documentary). Berlinale: "Trostel, who until recently worked primarily as a film editor, accompanies the young Hamburg punk band '1000 Robota' (Anton Spielmann, Basti Muxfeldt and Jonas Hinnerkort) on their way towards self definition in a highly commercialized music world. The film shows the power that can come from saying 'No!' together. Sandra Trostel emphasizes artistic independence and finds the appropriate cinematic means for the aesthetics of her film."
Vaterlandsverräter by Annekatrin Hendel (documentary). December 20: "[T]he story of 75-year-old writer Paul Gratzik, a Stasi informant from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern who later quits. This character could not be more contradictory: one hates him while still feeling quite touched."
weisst du eigentlich dass ganz viele blumen blühen im park (you know the park is filled with flowers) by Lothar Herzog. December 20: "Lena (Odine Johne) wanted nothing more than to live with her boyfriend Mario (Christian Blümel). So she moved to his place in Brandenburg, a small eastern German town. But now she is almost always alone because Mario is off working in Berlin. She starts wishing for something else..."
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