100 Years of Bavaria Film

It's a place where you could find German classrooms and distant planets, claustrophobic submarines, glamorous nightclubs, and even the Brandenburg Gate. In its 100-year history, Bavaria Studios have assumed many forms, shown us unfamiliar worlds, and taken us back in time. An example of this is THE OX WAR (1920), the first film made on the new site in Geiselgasteig, south of Munich, which told the story of an escalating conflict between Berchtesgaden Abbey and the farmers of Ramsau in the year 1420.

Given a new musical track by Hans-Jürgen Buchner, singer of the band Haindling, this silent film is one of three restored films that FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will be showing in honor of this German institution that represent its eventful and moving history. Like other movies in the Nazi era, the adventure film WATER FOR CANITOGA (1939), starring cinema hero Hans Albers, intended to offer war-torn audiences an escape — in this case, to early 20th-century Canada, where an engineer is on the trail of mysterious saboteurs.

The new, longer director's cut of Dominik Graf's THE INVINCIBLES (1994), on the other hand, derives its tension not from previous eras or distant settings. This thriller about a police officer who investigates a conspiracy makes us aware that films are set in the here and now and can nonetheless be timeless. Just like Bavaria Film — since its founding in 1919, when it was called Münchner Lichtspielkunst — has undergone many changes, yet has always remained a place where dreams could come true.

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