THE BLOOM OF YESTERDAY (DIE BLUMEN VON GESTERN)
Sat. Feb. 10, 2018 at 6:30 PM
Castro Theatre, San Francisco
San Francisco - Centerpiece Film
In Person: Lars Eidinger
125 min. German, Austria (2016). DCP Projection. German w/ English subtitles.
Director: Chris Kraus
Starring: Lars Eidinger, Adèle Haenel, Jan Josef Liefers, Hannah Herzsprung
Screenplay: Chris Kraus
Cinematography: Sonja Rom
Editor: Brigitta Tauchner
Producers: Danny Krausz, Kathrin Lemme, Chris Kraus, Gerd Huber, Kurt Stocker
World Sales: Beta Cinema
Is it possible to make a rom-com based on Holocaust research? German writer/director Chris Kraus' audacious, provocative story about a misanthropic historian reluctantly paired with an ebullient intern appears, at first, to head toward a formulaic exercise in transgressive romance. But Kraus wisely chooses unexpected pivots toward more nuanced emotional material as his characters grapple with their shared tragic history. The film focuses on humorless Holocaust scholar Toto (Lars Eidinger, Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper), who is planning a conference about the legacy of the camps but chafes against the crassness of corporate sponsorship. So he's already in a dismissive mood when he meets his polar opposite in Zazie (Adèle Haenel), the young, confrontational French woman who becomes his assistant. While she has her share of wisecracks ("A Holocaust researcher with a sense of humor is like a butt without a hole") and impulsive tendencies (tossing a small dog out of a moving car), Kraus leavens the screwball antics with genuine emotions stirred up by the dark subject matter. When Toto and Zazie both realize they have ancestors on opposite sides during the Holocaust, they find a common bond that draws them together. The Bloom of Yesterday manages the difficult feat of finding humor in spite of the backdrop of systemized genocide while acknowledging that the scars from the Third Reich are still tender, even three generations removed. –Seattle International Film Festival
Presented with the generous support of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco and Deutsche Welle.