The 2022 German Film Festival’s full programme has been revealed and features a standout selection of twenty-six films. New German cinema direct from European festivals, a celebratory retro sidebar, Kino for Kids and new Austrian and Swiss cinema all take centre stage.
This year’s Festival opens with A Stasi Comedy (Stasikomödie), a fresh release direct from Germany starring festival favourites David Kross and Tom Schilling and set in Communist East Berlin in the early 1980s. A special opening night gala includes German snacks and a glass of wine.
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The Festival Centrepiece, direct from its Berlinale premiere, is The Forger (Der Passfälscher), based on the true story of Samson “Cioma” Schönhaus, a Jewish graphic artist who hid in plain sight in 1940s Berlin, moving freely about the city using fake documents, while secretly forging IDs to help hundreds of others. Louis Hofmann masterfully embodies Schönhaus and leads an exceptional, young cast, directed by Maggie Peren.
This year’s Festival Special Presentation is Dear Thomas (Lieber Thomas), a historical monochrome biopic of East German writer and filmmaker Thomas Brasch, starring rising star Albrecht Schuch (Fabian: Going to the Dogs and Berlin Alexanderplatz GFF21). Another highlight is the gripping historical drama THE Last Execution (Nahschuss), directed by Franziska Stünkel starring Lars Eidinger and based on the real-life case of Werner Teske, the last person to recieve the death penalty in the GDR.
To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in Australia, a specially curated selection of outstanding German cinema from the last five decades will delight film lovers and includes:
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel)
Run Lola Run (Lola rennt) .
Good Bye, Lenin!
Austria and Switzerland’s new cinema is profiled in the Beyond Berlin sidebar. New Austrian Cinema, co-presented by the Austrian Embassy, features the Olympic biopic Chasing the Line (Klammer) which follows legendary Austrian downhill skiing legend Franz Klammer over several days during the 1976 Winter Olympics. Risks and Side Effects (Risiken und Nebenwirkungen) is a dark comedy from Austria starring Inka Friedrich and Samuel Finzi which follows a woman’s kidney transplant journey that threatens to break-up her friendships and marriage.
New Swiss cinema highlights include Caged Birds (Bis wir tot sind oder frei), starring Marie Leuenberger and Jella Hasse. Based on a true story, this intriguing 1980’s drama delves into the unlikely alliance between a young lawyer fighting Switzerland’s antiquated prison system and a criminal. Monte Verità (Monte Verità – Der rausch der freiheit), is a gorgeous historical drama set in the early 20th century that centres on a young mother and a group of society dropouts who search for a free-thinking paradise at Monte Verità. It’s Just a Phase, Honey (Es ist nur eine Phase, Hase) follows a couple approaching their 50s who set out to regain their long-lost youth. The crime-comedy The Black Square (Das Schwarze Quadrat) stars Bernhard Schütz and Sandra Hüller; two art thieves who have stolen a famous painting plan to meet their clients on a cruise ship and all does not go as planned. In the clever comedy Contra a law student prepares for a debating competition with the help of a cynical professor who has been given a final chance to redeem himself after a video of him insulting a student goes viral.
Other new German dramas include My Son (Mein Sohn), an emotional drama about a young man and his mother who go on a journey together after nearly losing one another; The German Lesson (Deutschstunde) about a young man in juvenile detention who is forced to write an essay, bringing memories flooding back of his childhood during the Second World War; The Seed (Die Saat) an accomplished and gritty drama about a building site manager who toils for the survival of his family and becomes involved in a struggle for social justice and The Path, (Der Pfad), in which a journalist father, two children and a dog must navigate a hazardous path to escape the Nazi occupation in France.
Set in the near future, The House (Das Haus) is a gripping AI thriller about a journalist and his wife who retreat to their high-tech holiday home, but the smart home’s artificial intelligence soon develops a life of its own.
The Goethe-Institut is pleased to present the popular sidebar Kino for Kids, films especially curated for children, teens and families. This year’s programme includes:
Mission Ulja Funk
A Secret Book of Friendship – The Greatest Adventure of Their Life (Nachtwald)
School of Magical Animals (Die Schule der magischen Tiere)
Tales of Franz (Die Geschichten vom Franz)
The Wall Between Us (Zwischen uns die Mauer)
The German Film Festival 2022 opens on June 2nd at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect
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