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BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Michael Stadler
Michael Stadler

Many of the films at this year’s festival retrace the steps of real people and events in a range of approaches from in-depth research to unfettered imagination, in search of an inner truth. Some (world) premieres of these films “based on a true story” can be seen today.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Cinema tirelessly draws upon reality. At this year’s festival, this has resulted not only in impressive documentaries, but also in some feature films that tackle “true stories” and, in the guise of fiction, search for an inner truth that might even escape a documentary film corseted by the availability of “real” footage.

For example, what really happened in the early 1980s when Johannes Erlemann, the 11-year-old son of an entrepreneur, was kidnapped? Might his own father have planned the kidnapping? And what was going on inside the minds of everyone involved? Marc Rothemund’s feature film KIDNAPPED – 14 DAYS SURVIVAL delves into the story, zeroing in on the boy’s mother, who had to come up with the ransom money of three million marks. The world premiere of this absorbing TV movie, on the big screen at the Gloria Palast, is on Tuesday at 5:30 pm; Rothemund, producer Veronica Ferres and other members of the film team will be in attendance. On Friday, the film will be screened again at 12:30 pm in HFF Kino 1, once more with Marc Rothemund and Veronica Ferres attending — along with Johannes Erlemann himself, who will certainly be able to provide a thrilling inside look at these events in retrospect.

Entführt Online

KIDNAPPED – 14 DAYS SURVIVAL

Daliland

Dalíland

What may have transpired between Alma Mahler and Oskar Kokoschka in early 20th-century Vienna is something that Dieter Berner's film ALMA & OSKAR tries to figure out. Emily Cox plays Alma Mahler, the well-off young widow of Gustav Mahler. She has many admirers, but cares little for convention and is mainly attracted to the enfant terrible of Expressionism, Oskar Kokoschka (Valentin Postlmayr). Their amour fou is mixed with a story of emancipation, for Alma has artistic ambitions of her own and wants to be more than the painter’s muse. This film will be screened on Tuesday at 8:30 pm at Rio 1 with director Dieter Berner and some members of the team attending; on Wednesday, they will come to the open-air screening at Kino, Mond & Sterne in the Westpark, which starts at 9:30 pm.

The term “amour fou” could also be used to describe to Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala Éluard. Like Alma Mahler, Gala is a muse with a strong will of her own. Barbara Sukowa, this year’s CineMerit Award-winner, portrays her, alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, who plays the brilliant artist, who is struggling with his age. DALÍLAND will be screened as part of the CineMerit Award ceremony for Barbara Sukowa, Tuesday at 6:30 pm at the ASTOR Astor Cinema. This will be followed by a Q&A with director Mary Harron, screenwriter John C. Walsh, and Barbara Sukowa. If the screening is sold out, don’t worry: on Wednesday, the film will be screened again at 12:30 pm at HFF Kino 1, with Mary Harron, John C. Walsh, and Barbara Sukowa in attendance then as well. A third screening will be held on Friday at 9 pm at Sendlinger Tor Kino (Q&A with Harron and Walsh).

Il Boemo Online1

il boemo

Herrhasuen Online2

Herrhausen – LORD of the money

To The Morth Online1

to the north

TO THE NORTH by Mihai Mincan is also based on a story written by life itself. Aboard a container ship on the high seas, a Filipino sailor named Joel discovers a stowaway, a Romanian man named Dumitru. If the ship’s Taiwanese officers were to notice him, they would surely have him thrown overboard. So Joel, a devout man, decides to hide Dumitru, which sets in motion a cat-and-mouse game in which Joel’s faith is increasingly put to the test. This film is having its German premiere Tuesday at 8:30 pm at ASTOR Arri Cinema, with producer Radu Stancu available for a Q&A afterwards. There will be a second screening on Friday at 8 pm at the Filmmuseum at which director Mihai Mincan will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.

Other films “based on a true story” will also be screened in the coming days. These include the second screening of HERRHAUSEN - LORD OF THE MONEY, starring Oliver Masucci as Alfred Herrhausen, the former spokesman of the board of Deutsche Bank (Wednesday at 3:30 pm at HFF Kino 1, followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Thomas Wendrich). In IL BOEMO, Petr Václav has created an opulent cinematic memorial to the largely forgotten Czech composer Josef Mysliveček — with guest appearances by such celebrated musicians as pianist Philip Hahn playing Mozart (Thursday at 8:30 pm at Gloria Palast).

History — in this case, the history of German soccer — is the subject of the series GUTE FREUNDE – DER AUFSTIEG DES FC BAYERN, of which we are showing the first three episodes. At the screening on Thursday at 11 am in the HFF Audimax, director David Dietl and members of his team will be there to score points with the audience the way Müller, Maier, Beckenbauer, Breitner, and Hoeneß once did in the stadium.

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