German Film Festival 2019

30 August–1 September 2019

The Goethe-Institut (the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute) presents a selection of new films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Austria
2018
Nikolaus Geyrhalter
112
minutes
German
spoken
English
subtitles

“… gives us hope by showing that, at least in some places in Europe, normal, decent people do not blindly fall victim to populist propaganda and stand up for values that the EU was built on in the first place.”
– Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa

With precisely composed shots and detailed interviews with local police officers, hikers, farmers and small business owners, The Border Fence explores the few square kilometers at the Brenner Pass, telling an urgent story of Europe in the process. Moving in concentric circles from the driveable border of the Brenner, Nikolaus Geyrhalter examines the scene of a shift in inner-European policy, spotlighting a diverse selection of political voices.

(German Film Festival 2019)

Germany
2018
Caroline Link
100
minutes
German
spoken
English
subtitles

“A humorous and heartfelt tragicomedy about the turbulent childhood of the later comedy superstar Hape Kerkeling.”
Carsten Baumgardt, Filmstarts

Ruhr Valley, Germany, 1972. Hans-Peter is a pudgy nine-year-old growing up in the security of his family and fun-loving relatives. At first sight he might not be the most popular guy, but he has a talent for making others laugh, which he refines on a daily basis in his grandmother’s corner shop. However, dark shadows soon loom over the boy’s everyday life as his once cheerful mum becomes more and more depressed after an operation. Hans-Peter’s sad and hardworking father leaves him mostly in the care of his two grandmas, who both have big hearts and strong personalities. Their love and care make it possible for Hans-Peter to survive the ensuing emotional turmoil and use his comedic talents to heal his own wounds while also making people laugh along with him. Based on the autobiographical novel by famed German comedian Hape Kerkeling.

(German Film Festival 2019)

Germany
2018
Andreas Dresen
127
minutes
German
spoken
English
subtitles

“Songwriter, worker and Stasi spy. All this was Gerhard Gundermann. Alexander Scheer and Andreas Dresen show in “Gundermann” the ambivalence and humanity that is necessary to understand the dilemmas faced by people who believed in the ideals of the DDR, despite their methods.”
Michael Meyns, Filmstarts

After his excursion to family entertainment with Timm Thaler, director Andreas Dresen has now returned to Germany’s recent past with his portrait of the contradictory life of the digger driver Gerhard Gundermann who made a name for himself as a singer-songwriter in former East Germany and tragically died at the age of 43 in 1998. As the hero/anti-hero Gundermann, Alexander Scheer – whose previous credits include Sun Alley and The Young Karl Marx – wants to be a good worker, great husband, caring father, artist, clown, and politician – in fact, he is everything at the same time. And the type of person who can’t help rubbing others the wrong way – not something that’s only restricted to his home of East Germany…

(German Film Festival 2019)

Germany
2018
Luzie Loose
102
minutes
German
spoken
English
subtitles

“Swimming benefits from strong lead performances and a marketably zeitgeisty theme – phone-footage bullying.”
Jonathan Romney, Screendaily

Schwimmen is the story of Elisa and Anthea, two very different girls, whose friendship gives them orientation and stability in the most difficult time of their young lives. They develop a game which turns them from victims into offenders, recording everything they do with their cell phone cameras. Soon they secretly film their classmates, particularly the ones who used to bully Elisa. Their friendship takes on a destructive dynamic, which becomes dangerous for those who get in the duo’s way.

Watch Trailer

(German Film Festival 2019)

Switzerland
2019
Stefan Haupt
168
minutes
Swiss-German & German
spoken
English
subtitles

“An aesthetically powerful film thanks to its sobriety; credible without ever sensationalising its cruel historical context…”
Giorgia Del Don, Cineuropa

His life’s work made him world famous: within a few years, Huldrych Zwingli, the main proponent of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, turned the entire city of Zurich and a firmly established canon of values upside down. With razor-sharp intellect, he dissected the religious and social system, denounced abuses and was not afraid of taking issue with the most powerful people of his time.

(German Film Festival 2019)

 

https://www.goethe.de/ins/nz/en/kul/sup/f19.html