Experimental, emotional, or quite distinctive: there are very different approaches that films can take to German history. This is also the case with five exciting films showing at the 38th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, each of which presents a completely new perspective.
THE SHADOW HOUR, for which director Benjamin Martins has just received the First Steps Award for up-and-coming talent, looks at the fate of a small group of individuals in close quarters. Christian writer and poet Jochen Klepper, his Jewish wife Johanna and his stepdaughter Renate, who is also Jewish, have made an unheard-of decision. The viewers feel the anxiety and hopelessness of their situation, because as the walls of their small apartment close in, the image on screen becomes smaller and smaller. In Filmmakers Live!, Martins discusses his disturbing film and the aesthetic vision behind it.
Following in chronological order, director Ed Herzog’s 3 1/2 HOURS is set at the moment the Berlin Wall is being built. In this TV movie, the passengers on a train from Munich to East Berlin hear that the border is being sealed off for good. From that moment on, three and a half hours remain for them to decide whether or not to get off the train before it arrives in East Germany. Writer Thomas Brasch does not have this freedom of choice in DEAR THOMAS. Born in East Germany, he was a teenager when the Wall was built. He’s unable to cope with either the physical Wall or the barriers that people have put up in their minds, and seeks to escape. In Filmmakers Live!, director Andreas Kleinert and screenwriter Thomas Wendrich look back at the turbulent and rebellious life of this artist.
THE LAST EXECUTION
3 1/2 HOURS
Franz Walter is also looking for a way out of this system in THE LAST EXECUTION by director Franziska Stünkel. Lars Eidinger gives an impressive performance as a fictitious East German careerist who initially enjoys the benefits of working for the Stasi but who must increasingly battle his own conscience. In the meantime, THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN HANDS has already overcome the physical Wall; director Katharina Marie Schubert’s film is set in 1999. Yet the barriers in people’s minds still exist, driving a wedge even between a mother and her daughter. Together, the directors of THE LAST EXECUTION and THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN HANDS attempt to assess the present and the future at Filmmakers Live! in Munich. The question at hand is: “Who are we, and who do we want to be?”