THE GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL REVEALS FULL 2019 PROGRAMME
A SPECIAL PROGRAMME STRAND ‘TEAR DOWN THE WALLS’ COMMEMORATES 30 YEARS SINCE THE FALL OF THE WALL
MULTI-AWARD WINNING ‘THE CAPTAIN’ TAKES CENTREPIECE
The 2019 German Film Festival showcases the best new German cinema across all genres with a curated selection of 31 films. Presented by Palace in collaboration with German Films, the programme will screen across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide from 21 May.
Opening the festival nationally is BALLOON (Ballon) by Michael ‘Bully’ Herbig. A spectacular and thrilling true story of two ordinary families who escape from East to West Germany in a homemade hot air balloon. Starring Karoline Schuch, David Kross, Friedrich Mücke and Alicia von Rittberg the story of the 1979 flight from the GDR is perfectly timed for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall.
The Centrepiece selection, THE CAPTAIN (Der Hauptmann) by Hollywood director Robert Schwentke (RED 2010, The Time Traveler’s Wife 2009), offers a superb cast including Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Alexander Fehling, Milan Peschel and Samuel Finzi. A black and white anti-war film, based on true story of deserter Willi Herold, sees darkly evocative and brutally stark German cinema at its best.
A special presentation screening of BAUHAUS SPIRIT: 100 YEARS OF BAUHAUS (Vom Bauen der Zukunft – 100 Jahre Bauhaus) will celebrate the anniversary of a design legend. Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut the documentary portrays the fascinating history of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus, one of our century’s most influential architectural schools that still shapes our society today.
Mid-way through the festival will see a special event screening of MACK THE KNIFE – BRECHT’S THREEPENNY FILM (Mackie Messer – Brechts Dreigroschenfilm). In true Brechtian style, director Joachim A. Lang and his outstanding cast enthusiastically bring to life true events that followed the huge success of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Threepenny Opera’. And to close the 2019 Festival – a restoration of the celebrated and controversial classic 1931 film THE 3 PENNY OPERA (Die 3 Groschen-Oper), which follows underworld anti-hero Macheath and his rivalry with Jonathan Peachum, the “beggar king” of London.
In KINO FOR KIDS, presented by the Goethe-Institut, six films have been specially curated for children, German language students and families alike, including MOUNTAIN MIRACLE (Amelie rennt), an adventure film about 13-year-old Amelie, who embarks on climbing a summit in the Alps despite a medical condition; the comedy HELP, I SHRUNK MY PARENTS (Hilfe, ich habe meine Eltern geschrumpft); JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE LOCOMOTIVE DRIVER (Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer) based on the children’s novel by Michael Ende; INVISIBLE SUE, which enters the fantasy realm; LITTLE MISS DOLITTLE (Liliane Susewind) in which ten-year-old Liliane can talk to animals; and Fatih Akin’s GOODBYE BERLIN (Tschick), a road movie like no other.
This year, the German Embassy co-presents three films as a commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall – these include: ADAM & EVELYN, an offbeat love story based on the popular novel by Ingo Schultz about a tailor and a waitress set against the backdrop of a disintegrating 1989 East Germany; by multi award-winning director Andreas Dresen comes GUNDERMANN, a moving and endearing portrait of the beloved East German folk singer and writer Gerhard “Gundi” Gundermann; and SEALED LIPS (Und der Zukunft zugewandt), starring Alexandra Maria Lara, as an ex-prisoner of a Russian Soviet labour camp who is forced to remain silent about her experiences in order to retain her freedom.
Take in the best German drama with the following stand-out films; STYX, by critically acclaimed multi-award winner Wolfgang Fischer, which bravely depicts the refugee crisis telling the story of a woman who takes a life-changing solo yacht trip; straight from San Sebastián comes MIDNIGHT RUNNER (Der Läufer) – the methodical portrait of a well-known top athlete who turned into a serial offender; THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET (Der Boden unter den Füßen) sees Valerie Pachner deliver a standout performance as a workaholic torn between the corporate world and family; from its premiere at Berlinale comes EASY LOVE, an experimental fiction debut by Tamer Jandali which follows seven adults on their search for a balance between emotional security and sensual fulfilment; WHAT DOESN’T KILL US (Was uns nicht umbringt), a tender and humorous mosaic of stories about the struggles and conflicts that come with middle age; and the life-affirming biography and legendary story of Bert Trautmann, Manchester City’s first German goalkeeper in THE KEEPER (Trautmann).
Get your fill of thrillers with: BLAME GAME (Das dritte Sterben) in which an A-list cast tell the story of Middle East expert Martin, who sets out to investigate two linked terrorist attacks; genre expert Christian Alvart’s nerve-wracking psychothriller, CUT OFF (Abgeschnitten), based on the international bestseller by Sebastian Fitzek; THE INNOCENT (Der Unschuldige) by Swiss director Simon Jaquemet. A psychological thriller, which boldly approaches spiritualism with a scepticism that both challenges and embraces people’s capacity to believe; and PLAYMAKER (Spielmacher) about a former pro-footballer and jailbird who gets sucked into the dangerous world of sports-betting and match-fixing.
Rounding out the festival is a veritable feast of comedies, including 100 THINGS (100 Dinge), an hilarious comedy which sees childhood friends Paul (Florian David Fitz) and Toni (Matthias Schweighöfer) make an impossible vow to rid themselves of all possessions; the captivating road trip comedy 25KM/H that delves into the heart of brotherhood starring Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel; from Oscar-awarded director Florian Gallenberger comes AS GREEN AS IT GETS (Grüner wird’s nicht, sagte der Gärtner und flog davon), a charming road movie about grumpy, hard-done-by gardener; SWEETHEARTS, a female buddy comedy by actor-director Karoline Herfurth; German box office hit and adaption of the French film Le prénom, HOW ABOUT ADOLF? (Der Vorname) sees a family dinner go awry when Thomas (Florian David Fitz) and his girlfriend announce their intention to name their son Adolf; a deliciously twisted satire about class divisions, OUTMASTERED (HERRliche Zeiten) from award-winning director Oskar Roehler; and with over 100,000 admissions across its opening weekend in Germany, COLD FEET (Kalte Füße), a charming romantic comedy that forces a petty burglar together with a stroke patient (Heiner Lauterbach) and his granddaughter.
The German Film Festival 2019 will take place nationally from 21 May – 12 June, in the following cities:
Sydney: 21 May – 9 June 2019, Palace Norton St and Chauvel Cinema
Canberra: 22 May – 9 June 2019, Palace Electric
Melbourne: 23 May – 09 June 2019, Palace Cinema Como, The Kino Cinemas, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, The Astor Theatre
Perth: 28 May – 12 June 2019, Palace Cinema Paradiso, Palace Raine Square
Adelaide: 29 May – 12 June 2019, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Brisbane: 30 May – 12 June 2019, Palace James St, Palace Barracks
Byron Bay: 29 May – 12 June 2019, Palace Byron Bay