The best of recent German cinema descends on Madrid
- The 23rd German Film Festival is unspooling in the Spanish capital from 9-13 June, boasting enticing premieres such as The Case You by Alison Kuhn
The Madrid German Film Festival is heading back to the Spanish capital for its 23rd edition, which is being held from 9-13 June in Palacio de la Prensa cinemas and which will celebrate the latest batch of German productions, while paying particular attention to independent films and those by young directors. It will also leave enough room for non-fiction titles, a strand for short films that break the mould and a handful of other surprises. The festival is a German Films initiative, organised in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut Madrid and the German Embassy in Madrid.
And so, six films as-yet unreleased in Spain will make up the Panorama section, thus confirming the sheer might of the German audiovisual industry. The gathering will be opened by the documentary The Case You [+see also:
film profile], directed by Alison Kuhn, which is a scathing condemnation of the sexual assault suffered by six actresses during their audition for a film: the filmmaker herself was a victim of said abuse, along with five other actresses, who are all brought together here.
Another standout title is the directorial debut by actor Moritz Bleibtreu, Cortex [+see also:
film profile], a psychological thriller starring the director himself as a man suffering from sleep disorders that force him to live in a zombie-like state, without ever being sure whether what he’s experiencing, seeing and feeling is part of a dreamworld or real life. Copilot [+see also:
interview: Anne Zohra Berrached
film profile], the third feature by Anne Zohra Berrached, and a co-production with France, answers complex questions such as: to what extent do we truly know the people we love? How do we confront manifestations of fear? And how are we able to detect the monstrous side of human nature?
Director Christian Schäfer is back with Cloudy Clouds, in which he weaves a tragicomedy able to combine drama and mystery as he burrows deep into the young protagonist’s psyche. In Freak City, the third feature by Andreas Kannengießer, the director rekindles his interest in portraying authentic characters going through puberty, just as he did in his feature debut. This time around, the lead is 15-year-old Mika, who, in order to make his ex-girlfriend Sandra jealous, takes an interest in the mysterious Lea.
In Dear Mr Führer by Christian Lerch, everything begins with a letter that a bunch of kids send to the Führer to ask him to stop the war so that their parents can come home. Starting from this small, innocent, yet subversive gesture, this period production, directed by a seasoned helmer of German TV shows, builds up a humanist fable hinging on civilian awareness of the horrors of Nazism.
The programme of the 23rd German Film Festival is rounded off by a strand commissioned by the Goethe-Institut Madrid, called Heimat, which revisits of the concept of homeland, with the ultimate aim being to offer fresh perspectives in order to create freer and more diverse imaginaries (including the experimental documentary Progress in the Valley of the People Who Don’t Know [+see also:
film profile] by Florian Kunert, the queer and racially orientated story No Hard Feelings [+see also:
interview: Faraz Shariat
film profile] by Faraz Shariat, and Janna Ji Wonders’ autobiographical Walchensee Forever [+see also:
film profile]), as well as the Next Generation Short Tiger short-film programme.
(Translated from Spanish)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.