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Come to where the music is

Oliver Armknecht
Oliver Armknecht

From rousing hip-hop performances to immortal rock anthems to classical compositions, many different kinds of music are featured in our festival films, in everything from historical dramas to documentaries to road movies. 

Come to where the music is

BORN TO BE WILD – THE STORY OF STEPPENWOLF
PHoto: DIDI Zill

Sometimes a song is more than just a song — and “Born to Be Wild” is a good example. Not only was this hard-rock classic from 1968 a worldwide hit that catapulted the band Steppenwolf to fame overnight; it also became an anthem for freedom thanks to the cult film EASY RIDER. The documentary BORN TO BE WILD – THE STORY OF STEPPENWOLF takes us back in time as it relates the story of this band with German roots. WILD STYLE is a no less thrilling time capsule that places us in 1980s New York to witness the emerging culture of hip-hop. Appearances by numerous legends such as Fab Five Freddy, Lady Pink, and Grandmaster Flash, along with a close-up look at the vibrant graffiti scene, make for a lively, captivating portrait. 

Jakobs Ross Online2

SONGS WITHIN
PHoto: Sava Hlavacek 

Les Jours Heureux Online1

DAYS OF HAPPINESS
FOTO: Laurence Grandbois Bernard

Sisterqueens Online2

SISTERQUEENS

The hip-hop of today is the subject of the documentary SISTERQUEENS. We’re introduced to three girls, initially aged 9 to 11, who are involved in a rap project by that name in Berlin’s Wedding district. We follow the three friends over the course of several years and observe how they grow with the project and evolve into young artists with an ever-increasing degree of self-confidence in a world defined by gender stereotypes. Other films at this year’s festival also deal with gender roles in a musical environment. For example, the star-studded Swiss drama SONGS WITHIN tells the story of a 19th-century maid who dreams of receiving formal training and becoming a musician. However, this talented young woman must say goodbye to her dreams when she becomes pregnant and is forced to marry a farmhand. The protagonist of the Canadian film DAYS OF HAPPINESS, a conductor about to make it big, fares better. She, too, must learn to assert herself, mainly against her father, who, as her agent, has a major say in her life. 

Allen Sunshine Online1

ALLEN SUNSHINE

Im Rosengarten Online4

IN THE ROSE GARDEN
PhOTO: Neufilm

While the above films are all about aspiring musicians who are only just starting to realize their potential, two other films pose the question: What happens when things don’t really work out? IN THE ROSE GARDEN shows us a pop star who is both in a creative slump and experiencing a turning point in his life: his father, whom he hasn’t seen in many years, is in a coma, but a half-sister he hadn’t known of shows up. Their getting to know each other develops into a thought-provoking search for identity and a place to call home that takes them across Germany. ALLEN SUNSHINE, on the other hand, is about a retreat from life that takes the title character, once a big name in the music business, to a remote cabin in the woods. There, aided by a chance meeting, time spent in a recording studio provides an opportunity to overcome pain and sorrow. In this story, music is more than an expression of an individual’s emotions; it becomes a unifying element that lets us experience the world in a completely new way. 

If you’re in the mood for music, check this out: As part of CineYou, the Young Night will be held from 5 pm to midnight on June 28, 2024. There will be plenty to see and hear — such as artist Su Steinmaßl, who will add a visual performance to the music played by Munich techno label Public Possession. And at a karaoke night on July 4, you’ll be able to put your own musical talent to the test. 

See also

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