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Life Is Like That

Michael Stadler
Michael Stadler

The TV movies in this year’s New German Television Productions section

Life Is Like That

The New German Television Productions section highlights the latest works made for German TV, as world premieres on the big screen, with the filmmakers attending. This year, the Bernd Burgemeister TV Production Award, sponsored by the VFF, will for the first time be presented twofold: 25,000 euros will as before be awarded to the best TV movie, with a further 25,000 euros being awarded to the best series or miniseries in the program (see the blog post “Turbulence Ahead”).

Juliane Hansen (Anna Schudt) is mired in sorrow. Her partner Johann (Maximilian Brückner) died a year ago, bringing her life to a standstill. One day, though, she puts on her running shoes and starts jogging again, which also helps to get her mind back on track. Rainer Kaufmann’s TV movie RUNNING tells how Juliane gradually gets back on her feet with the help of her friend Rieke (Katharina Wackernagel). Also sharing a tight bond, in this case since childhood, are Paula and Jojo (Caro Cult and Nina Gummich) in FOR JOJO by director Barbara Ott. When Jojo meets the man of her dreams and wants to marry him, however, Paula desperately tries to intervene, fearing that the women’s close friendship could otherwise be ruined.

Loneliness is something to avoid, but it’s important to let others have their freedom, lest one come across as clingy. In Dominik Graf’s new work SHADOWS OF THE PAST, Christina (Verena Altenberg) dwells on her old flame, Jacob (Florian Stetter), who died in a car accident. Rediscovering his traits in Patrick (Alessandro Schuster), she falls in love all over again, but merging a fresh relationship and the one in her memory turns out to be problematic.

Some things that can’t be undone are very hard to get out of one’s head. In AS LOUD AS YOU CAN by Esther Bialas, Maja (Nina Gummich) would rather block out her experience of being raped. Her friend Kim (Friederike Becht), however, won’t let it rest; she investigates the circumstances within the tight circles of a men’s club. “Toxic masculinity” also comes to mind in THE DISRUPTER by Susanna Salonen. A boss (Axel Stein) invites himself to a barbecue given by a subordinate and provokes two couples with his views, though not without having to take a few bruises himself in the end.

In two TV movies, a place where one ought to expect medical care and healing becomes the scene of frightening crimes. In LIGHT IN A DARK HOUSE by Lars-Gunnar Lotz, a coma patient dies in a Hamburg hospital because someone turns off her life-support machines — which spurs investigator Johannes Fischer (Henry Hübchen) and his team into action. In THE HIPPOCRATIC SILENCE, a caregiver (Julia Jentsch) realizes that her colleague is arbitrarily deciding whether patients live or die. This thriller, directed by Esther Gronenborn, is based on the real case of a serial murderer, the “deadly caregiver”.

Setting his story at the 1988 air show disaster at the US military base in Ramstein, Kai Wessel shares the perspective of victims’ families as they cope with grief and trauma in RAMSTEIN – THE PIERCED HEART. Two investigators look into the circumstances of the disaster. Nothing here can be undone either, but many an impasse can be resolved. What went wrong finally comes to light, and life will hopefully get back on track.

See also

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HUNTING SEASON has started: Aron Lehmann’s comedy about three women friends who are at odds with each other celebrates its world premiere today. That’s reason enough to look at this film and a few others at the festival in which friendships are put to the test.