Friday, 6/1/2018


In the New German Cinema section, 16 films have their world premiere

The New German Cinema section is a central part of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. The 16 films celebrating their world premiere showcase the diverse and radical nature of this year's new films. Their themes and backdrops range from partying to existential crises, from love and gender issues to reflections on history and current political topics.

This year, German filmmakers are letting it all hang out. Four of the films in this section revolve around nightlife, telling their stories against the backdrop of wild parties. Foremost among these is Henning Gronkowski's YUNG, which has the potential to cause a scandal. The film accompanies teenagers in Berlin as they find their way, which is often the wrong way, through the city and through life. Hedonism, sexuality, and drugs are explicitly among the themes here. In Linus de Paoli's A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL, we're given a breathless thriller. When a computer-science student who's as sexually inexperienced as he is intelligent is rejected by the object of his desire, he resorts to using chemical substances and experiences a night in which he loses his innocence in every sense of the word. Jakob Lass, whose LOVE STEAKS swept the German Cinema New Talent Award in four categories in 2013, takes us to the last night of a Hamburg club with everything that a good farewell party entails in his latest film, RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.

A backdrop of nightlife and excess

Several films in the program this year are devoted to depicting and exploring existential crises. By no means can the female protagonist In Eva Trobisch's drama claim that it's ALL GOOD. Nonetheless, after being raped by her boss's brother-in-law, she does everything she can to keep up appearances — her silence endangering not least her relationship with her boyfriend. Ann-Kristin Reyels' film WE WERE JUST PLAYING is also about a character who is hiding a dark secret. A young boy moves to the German-Czech border with his parents and meets another boy with a mysterious past. Damian John Harper's IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER is about a traumatic incident. A young man holds his grandfather responsible for the death of his sister and has sworn to kill him. At the moment of truth, however, his plan is thwarted and the two men are forced to spend the rest of the day together.

Existential crises

Families usually offer great potential for conflict. This is the theme of Michael Klier's chamber play FAMILY IDIOTS, in which five siblings must work through a moral dilemma: Should the youngest sister, who is mentally disabled, be put in an institution? Katinka Narjes' SIRENS also deals with family issues. Although the bond between two sisters is indestructible, they must learn to let go. Annekatrin Hendel's documentary THE BRASCH FAMILY is the story of a German family across three generations. The family of the title stands in for many others as it experiences historic moments, twists of fate, and strife. Another very personal story is told by Lola Randl, a Munich native and a previous guest at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. THE BEES AND THE BIRDS, a movie version of her documentary series LANDSCHWÄRMER, is a kind of cinematic experiment in alternative living carried out by a city-dweller who moves to the countryside.

Family, yesterday and today

German filmmakers are also moved by topics of love, physicality, and sexuality. In EVERYTHING ALWAYS ALL THE TIME, Philipp Eichholtz explores aspects of the fulfillment of one's (sexual) identity and societal nonconformity. Leonel Dietsche's THE NEW END, on the other hand, imagines a post-apocalyptic world in which only men seem to have survived and where might makes right. Robert Bohrer and Emma Rosa Simon have submitted a highly unusual LOVE FILM in which a lethargic thirtysomething man spends a carefree summer with a war photographer — until the latter decides she wants a baby. Love, or at least something resembling it, is also the subject of SAFARI – MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Munich director Rudi Gaul. Thanks to Safari, a new dating app, the Bavarian capital becomes a vehicle for anyone interested in self-promotion — a veritable bonfire of the vanities. Arthur Schnitzler's stage play "La Ronde" is catapulted into the present day, with hilarious results. 

Love, analog and digital

The festival's opening film, MACKIE MESSER – BRECHTS DREIGROSCHENFILM, is about another classic familiar to audiences around the world. Joachim A. Lang and a galaxy of German movie stars have made a film about a film in which Bertolt Brecht's convictions about the nature of art are brought to the screen, baring their teeth to the movie industry. Similarly, Oliver Hafner's WACKERSDORF deals with a historic event that involved resistance and moral conviction: a citizens' group's successful protests against plans to construct a nuclear reprocessing plant in eastern Bavaria in the 1980s.

Resistance and moral conviction