Films from Germany
Summer seems hardly over and it is already time for the BFI London Film Festival. As every year it makes sure that Londoners can experience world and UK premieres as well as catch up on the film highlights from other festivals around the world. In this spirit the festival will bring a small but fine selection of films from Germany to London, and we are pleased to support the attendance of two women directors, Nora Fingscheidt and Mariko Minoguchi, who will present their impressive debuts at the festival.
Nora Fingscheidt: System Crasher
Nora Fingscheidt’s System Crasher (Systemsprenger), which premiered in this year’s Berlin Film Festival competition, follows the struggle of a nine-year-old girl whose proneness to uncontrollable rage and violent behaviour has her constantly clash with her surroundings. Fingscheidt repeatedly puts us in the sensory realm of the traumatised Bennie, impressively played by Helena Zengel, to convey her fear, frustration and despair. The strain her behaviour puts on her family and the social workers that try to help her escape from the cycle of foster homes and hospital stays she is caught in is, stays palpable throughout the film. An attentive and moving character portrait rather than a schematic case study, the film nevertheless shows the flaws of the social care system making this an all the more relevant film.
Mariko Minoguchi: Relativity
Mariko Minoguchi’s Relativity (Mein Ende, Dein Anfang) takes us into more philosophical territory with its smart and playful reflection on predetermination and chance, on guilt and redemption as well as on the linearity of time. In her ambitious romance, which also doesn’t shy from action, Nora and Aaron fall in love having met by chance on the underground. But their love at first sight is dramatically cut short and it is eventually Natan, who happens to keep on crossing Nora’s path. Is this also by accident? Gaining much praise following its premiere at the Munich Film Festival earlier this year for the risks it takes and its visual flair, the film looks beyond the horizon of German mainstream cinema and it may be worth checking out, what it has found there.
Jan-Ole Gerster: Lara
Many will be delighted that Oh Boy-director Jan-Ole Gerster is back with a new film. Lara stars Corinna Harfuouch as a mother who on her 60th birthday realises that giving up her own career as a pianist for that of her son (played by Tom Schilling) has been a mistake. Melancholy and humour meet in this portrayal of a complex mother-son relationship that explores our dependence on the approval or others.
See the festival’s special page recommending Three to see at LFF if you like… German films with more information and trailers.