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Thread: Berlin & beyond 2022

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    Berlin & beyond 2022

    BERLIN & BEYOND

    San Francisco March 11-16, 2022

    FILMLEAF FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD (REVIEWS)



    Festival website. See there for dates and times of films.

    The festival offers 19 films including short and feature-length films.

    The festival, whose main venue is the venerable and spacious Castro Theater, features films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Each year, the festival organizers make sure to screen several short films, as well as an old favorite, but the majority of films screened are feature-length new releases, most of which won't make it to American screens other than at small events such as this one. If seven days of films aren't enough, the festival sets aside one special day for more movies at San Jose's Camera Cinemas 12. Other venues include the Goethe-Institut and Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. Founded by the Goethe-Institut 25 years ago.

    LIST OF FILMS

    Ala Kachuu – Take and Run 38 mins.
    Directed by Maria Brendle

    A young Kyrgyz woman is kidnapped and forced to marry. A drama about the desire for freedom in the clutches of a tradition.

    Mr. Bachmann and His Class 217 mins.
    Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse
    Directed by Maria Speth

    TRAILER
    Where does one feel at home? In Stadtallendorf, a German city with a complex history of both excluding and integrating foreigners, genial teacher Dieter Bachmann offers his pupils the key to at least feeling as if they are at home. Aged between twelve and fourteen, these pupils come from twelve different nations; some have not quite mastered the German language. On the brink of retirement, Bachmann is eager to inspire these citizens-in-the-making with a sense of curiosity for a wide range of crafts, subjects, cultures and opinions/

    When We Were Bullies 36 mins.
    Directed by Jay Rosenblatt

    A mind-boggling “coincidence” leads the filmmaker to track down his fifth grade class – and fifth grade teacher – to examine their memory of and complicity in a bullying incident fifty years ago.

    Dear to Me 19 mins.
    Directed by Monica Vanesa Tedja

    Cast: Jourdy Pranata, Jerome Kurnia, Willem Bevers, Wani Siregar, Abbe Rachman
    A 27-year-old Indonesian, Tim, is having a family vacation with both of his parents on a remote island far from the city, where they learn about the myth of a reincarnated deer that exists somewhere along the beach. Island locals believe that seeing the deer is a sign of meeting one’s soulmate. Tim is the only one who secretly hoping to discover the deer, hiding his desire from his very devout Christian parents.

    Genderation 88 mins.
    Directed by Monika Treut

    Cast: Annie Sprinkle, Beth Stephens, Sandy Stone, Stafford, Susan Stryker
    20 years after Gendernauts, Monika Treut seeks out the pioneers of the transgender movement back then to find out how their lives and their activism have evolved, how they have grown into their identities and how their energy continues to have an impact today.



    Hinterland 98 mins.
    Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky

    Cast: Liv Lisa Fries, Marc Limpach, Matthias Schweighöfer, Max von der Groeben, Murathan Muslu
    Vienna, 1920. The Austro-Hungarian Empire has collapsed. Peter Perg returns home from the Great War, after years of captivity. But the Vienna he comes home to is nothing like the place he once knew. The new Austrian Republic thrives on social and artistic freedom, but anti-democratic movements and unemployment loom overhead. A stranger in his hometown, his life takes a turn for the worse when one of his former comrades is murdered. Suddenly the mysterious killings of veterans are mounting. Personally connected to the victims, Perg decides to bring the killer to justice. He finds an ally in the cool-headed forensic doctor Theresa Körner, with whom he has a deeper, shared history. Their investigation leads them into the darkest corners of the city, as they confront a brutal and systematic killer and intrigues from within the police force. But when the killer’s net closes around Perg himself, he faces the moral dilemma of his life. TRAILER

    Precious Ivie 109 mins.
    Ivie wie Ivie
    Directed by Sarah Blaßkiewitz

    Cast: Anne Haug, Haley Louise Jones, Lorna Ishema, Maximilian Brauer, René Geisler
    Two Afro-German half-sisters that never met before, get closer through their father’s death, search their roots and find themselves.

    Next Door 93 mins.
    Nebenan
    Directed by Daniel Brühl

    Cast: Daniel Brühl, Peter Kurth
    TRAILER
    OPENING NIGHT FILM, SHOWCASE
    Berlin, the Prenzlauer Berg district. Daniel is a movie star accustomed to success. His loft apartment is stylish and so is his wife, and the nanny has the children under control. Everything is tip-top, bilingual and ready for him to jet off to an audition in London where a role in an American superhero film awaits the celebrated German-Spanish actor. Popping into the local bar on the corner, he finds Bruno sitting there. As transpires by the minute, Bruno has been waiting for this moment for a long time, with Daniel as his target.
    Official Selection: Berlinale 2021 (Competition)
    Please note that admission to the Opening Night Film does not admit entrance to any receptions surrounding the Opening Night.

    Princess 101 mins
    Prinzessin
    Directed by Peter Luisi

    Cast: Matthias Habich Fabian Krueger Lia Hahne Johanna Bantzer Anne Haug
    CINEMA PANORAMA: SWITZERLAND, UKRAINE. GERMAN, SWISS GERMAN
    Josef would go to the ends of the earth for his little princess, Nina, his niece. He even tries to get away from alcohol, but he only finally quits when his sister cuts off every contact after Josef unwittingly hurts Nina. Many years later, Josef is sober and learns that Nina has become a drug addict and a criminal, trapped in a remote Ukrainian prison. Now it’s his turn to rescue her.
    Official Selection: Zurich 2021, Hof 2021, Solothurn 2022

    Laura’s Star 80 mins.
    Lauras Stern
    Directed by Joya Thome

    Cast: Emilia Kowalski, Luise Heyer, Ludwig Trepte
    CHILDREN'S MATINEE
    After moving to the big city, Laura misses her old home very much. She feels lonely, does not like the new apartment and finding friends is not the easiest. When she watches a tiny star fall from the sky one night, Laura goes off to retrieve it. She comforts it and carefully treats its broken-off piece with a band-aid. A magical friendship between Laura and the star begin.

    Sweet Disaster 90 mins.
    Directed by Laura Lehmus

    Cast: Florian Lukas, Friederike Kempter, Lasse Myhr, Lena Urzendowsky
    TRAILER
    Sweet Disaster tells the story of Frida – German-Finnish, painting therapist and 40 years old. Two events change the usual course of her life. She gets unexpectedly pregnant and Felix, the father of her child, breaks up with her to re-unite with his ex, who is suddenly back. Felix admits that it is not the best timing, however it does not prevent him from leaving. Frida cannot accept Felix’s decision. Although some serious health problems caused by the late pregnancy force her to rest, she tries to get Felix back with the help of absurd, exaggerated and sometimes absolutely comic actions.

    Tacheles – The Heart of the Matter 104 mins.
    Endlich Tacheles
    Directed by Andrea Schramm, Jana Matthes

    TRAILER
    Yaar is a young Israeli living in Berlin, refusing being a Jew. He accuses his father of suffering from the Holocaust although he never experienced it firsthand. In order to face his own family history, he decides to communicate the Holocaust in a new way: in a computer game. Together with his two German friends, he creates a 1940s Germany in which Jews can defend themselves and Nazis can act humanely. By bluring the truth and switching the roles of victims and perpertrators – can anyone cope with his own history?
    Official Selection: Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2021, DOK.fest Munich 20

    Tala’Vision 27 mins.
    Directed by Murad Abu Eisheh

    Cast: Aesha Balasem, Ziad Bakri, Khalid Al Tarifi
    Trapped in a war ridden reality, with the hope of one day playing in the neighborhood’s football field, 8 year old Tala finds solace and freedom in a forbidden television. However, the secret TV becomes a matter of life and death.

    Lieber Thomas 150 mins.
    Directed by Andreas Kleinert

    Cast: Albrecht Schuch, Jella Haase
    TRAILER
    CENTERPIECE, GOETHE FORUM
    The GDR is still young, but Thomas Brasch (Albrecht Schuch) doesn’t fit in already. His father Horst (Jörg Schüttauf) wants to help build the new German state above all, but Thomas, his eldest son, would rather become a writer. Thomas is a dreamer, obsessive and a rebel. When the Soviet tanks roll through Prague in 1968, Brasch protests with his girlfriend Sanda (Ioana Jacob) and other students in the streets of Berlin. His own father betrays him to the Stasi, sending him to prison. Released on parole, Brasch works hard, and writes about love, revolt, and death. With no prospect of being heard in the GDR, Thomas and the woman he loves (Jella Haase) leave the homeland that never was his. In the West he is acclaimed and his books become bestsellers. But Brasch does not allow himself to be taken in. He is far from being at peace.
    Official Selection: Munich 2021 and Winner of Best Film at Tallinn Black Nights

    And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead 115 mins.
    Und morgen seid ihr tot
    Directed by Michael Steiner

    Cast: Ingo Ospelt, Karin Pfammatter, Morgane Ferru, Sven Schelker
    TRAILER
    In 2011, a young Swiss couple, Daniela Widmer and David Och, are kidnapped on their journey along the old Silk Road in Pakistan. They are taken 500 kilometers to warlike Waziristan and handed over to the local Taliban. The two of them are living under the most precarious conditions for 8 months in hostage custody, until they finally succeed in escaping from the Taliban, as the only civilians so far. Based on the true story.
    Official Selection: Zurich 2021 (Opening Night Film)

    Mission Ulja Funk 93 mins.
    Directed by Barbara Kronenberg

    Cast: Anja Schneider, Hildegard Schroedter, Jonas Oeßel, Luc Feit, Romy Lou Janinhoff
    When Ulja (12) is prevented from pursuing her passion, astronomy, she decides to take matters into her own hands. With a stolen hearse and a 13-year-old classmate as a driver, she makes her way across Eastern Europe to watch the impact of an asteroid. In doing so, she not only has to shake off her persecutors, but also her pragmatic view of friendship and family.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2022 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    First review.
    \
    NEXT DOOR/NEBENON (Daniel Brühl 2021)

    Working both sides of the camera Daniel Brühl sees his ego destroyed in a version of himself, but the critics weren't very impressed. Tense entertainment, though.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-02-2022 at 04:13 PM.

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    TACHELES - THE HEART OF THE MATTER/ENDLICH TACHELES (Jana Matthes, Andrea Schramm 2020)

    An Israeli-born Jewish 20-something Berliner tries to cope with the Shoah's shadow over his family through designing a video game. It doesn't work. A very dumb idea on the face of it but the result is a personal study of the effect of the Holocaust on the third generation.

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    DEAR THOMAS/LIEBER THOMAS (Andreas Kleinert 2021)

    A frenetic b&w biopic of East German Jewish writer Thomas Brasch (1945-2001), played by popular German actor Albrecht Schuch. You won't have heard of Brasch and you may not learn much from him from this movie. The dreams are good.

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    MR. BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS/HERR BACHMANN UND SEINE KLASSE (Maria Speth 2021)

    This 3 1/2-hour documentary seems to me too long, but then I didn't want it to end because the teacher and his 19-student class are adorable. The film already has a warm following in the US. The New York Times made it a Critic's Pick. Available streaming on MUBI.

    DATES & TIMES Berlin & Beyond Festival:
    UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
    March 16, 2022
    7:00 pm

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