Review

Films 2011

Almanya - Welcome to Germany

(c) Goethe-Institut

Director: Yasemin Samdereli
color, 97 min.
Germany 2011


When neither his Turkish nor his German classmates choose six-year-old Cenk Yilmaz for the football team, he wonders about his own identity. "Who or what am I really - a Turk or a German?" His cousin consoles him with the story of their grandfather Hüseyin, who came as a guest worker to Germany and shortly thereafter brought his wife and children to "Almanya". In flashbacks, with plenty of humor and grand emotions, the story is told of how Yilmaz family found a new home in Germany. In the meantime, Germany has long since become home for the Yilmaz family. But things become turbulent when Hüseyin suddenly announces that he has bought a house in Turkey and the whole family will travel there with him. Talking back is useless and so begins for the extended family an adventurous journey full of memories, quarrels and reconciliations... which takes a surprising turn.

The film debut of the Samdereli sisters not only caused laughs and excitement for audiences at the Berlinale 2011, but also impressed critics, who celebrated the film as a "Turkish-German cinema highlight". Almanya - Welcome to Germany was nominated in two categories for the German Film Prize 2011 and was awarded the rating ‘especially valuable’ by the German film and media review agency.

Yasemin Samdereli was born in 1973 in Dortmund. After studying at the School for Film and Television in Munich, she has worked since 2001 as a scriptwriter and director, including directing the TV films Alles getürkt (2003) and Ich Chef, Du nix (2007).



Genre Comedy
Location Germany/Turkey
Year 2011
Director Yasemin Samdereli
Screenplay Yasemin Samdereli, Nesrin Samdereli
Cast Demet Gül, Vedat Erincin, Lilay Huser, Denis Moschitto, Petra Schmidt-Schaller, Aykut Kayacik, Siir Eloglu, Aylin Tezel, Fahri Oguen Yardim, Rafael Koussouris
Length 97 Minuten
Trailer http://www.almanya-film.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Pope Joan

(c) Goethe-Institut

Genre: History film/Drama
color, 148 min.
Germany/Italy/Spain/UK 2009


Europe in the ninth century: Johanna, daughter of the fanatical local priest, grows up Ingelheim am Rhein. Even as a child, she stands out with her extraordinary intelligence and curiosity. Against the wishes of her father she learns to read and write, she even fights for the chance to attend school. But as a woman in the patriarchal society of the Middle Ages, she is soon confronted with limits. Therefore, she decides at a young age to continue her journey through life disguised as a man. She enters a convent, where she can study and be trained in the healing arts. Increasingly, she gains recognition and continues to rise in the church hierarchy. But with growing success the fear that her true identity will be revealed also grows. When she is named as Pope, and shortly thereafter in Rome again meets her true love, catastrophe appears almost inevitable ...

This screen adaptation of an international bestseller, which re-tells a popular medieval legend is memorable for the strong central figure of Joan, who contravenes all family, church and social conventions. The early Middle Ages in Europe with wars and monasteries, splendor and poverty is impressively staged.

Sönke Wortmann, one of Germany's most famous directors, has attracted large audiences to the cinema with Der bewegte Mann und Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen, as well as many other films. For his work he has been honored with many awards, including the Adolf Grimme Prize.

Genre History film/Drama
Locations Germany/Italy/Spain/UK
Year 2009
Director Sönke Wortmann
Screenplay Heinrich Hadding
Cast Iain Glen, Suzanne Bertish, John Goodman, Johanna Wokalek, David Wenham, Anatole Taubman, Jördis Triebe
Length 148 minutes
Trailer http://www.diepaepstin.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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The Crocodiles 2 - The coolest gang is back!

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Children’s film (6 years and older)
color, 88 min.
Germany 2010


In the sequel to the successful film adaptation of the children's book Die Vorstadtkrokodile (The Crocodiles), the courageous gang around Olli, Hannes and Maria will take any risk to expose evil schemes, and to stand up for their gang. So once again the Crocodiles embark on an action-packed adventure that will be enjoyed by young and old alike.

The factory where the parents of Mary and Ollis work is about to be closed. For some unexplainable reason the machines at the plant don’t function anymore work and work has come to a standstill. The only solution the parents can see to the threat of unemployment is to move to another city. However, for the Crocodiles this would mean the end of their gang. And so they investigate the problem with the machines. Because the Boller twins, who have been working in the plant for some time, have been acting very suspiciously, the gang decides to shadow them. The Crocodiles succeed in discovering the plans of the two, but to get proof the gang must put their courage to the test and prove themselves in a dangerous situation.

Christian Ditter’s work as director and screenwriter has already received numerous awards for the first part of the Crocodiles. Other films and TV productions which he directed, such as the TV series Turkish for Beginners, have also been awarded prizes and have been popular successes,.
Genre Children’s film (6 years and older)
Locations Germany
Year 2010
Director Christian Ditter
Screenplay Christian Ditter, Neil Ennever
Cast Dietmar Baer, Maria Schrader, Smudo, Nora Tschirner, Leonie Tepe, Manuel Steitz, Fabian Halbig, Nick Romeo Reimann, Esther Schweins
Length 88 minutes
Trailer http://vsk2.derfilm.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Close to you

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Love story
color, 91 min.
Germany 2008


Phillip lives in his own peculiar world. His only friends are the turtle Paul and the psychiatrist Aaron. By day he checks the authenticity of Euro notes in the basement of the central bank, by night he dreams of performing on a cabaret stage as a pantomime artist. But he lacks the courage to realize his dream. When the blind cellist Lina stumbles into his table and his life, Phillip’s ordered world is shaken to its foundations. Despite her handicap she moves fearlessly and energetically through life. And suddenly Philip’s slightly neurotic character becomes confused by a flood of mixed feelings...

Even in her debut film, Fickende Fische (2002) director Almut Getto convincingly created her own visual language and consistent motifs. In Ganz nah bei Dir she successfully applies quirky humor and the power of the absurd to situations which are actually quite sad in such a way that as to give way to something like a happy end.
Genre Comedy/Drama/Love story
Locations Germany
Year 2008
Director Almut Getto
Screenplay Heinrich Hadding
Cast Katharina Schüttler, Bastian Trost
Length 91 Minuten
Trailer http://ganz-nah-bei-dir.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Goethe!

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Drama
color, 102 min.
Germany 2010


This fictional portrait of the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832) revolves around the young love that changed Goethe’s life forever and inspired his successful novel "Die Leiden des jungen Werther“ (The Sorrows of Young Werther). When the young Goethe neglects his law studies and his poems are rejected by a publisher, his furious father sends him to the sleepy town of Wetzlar, in the hope that a dry administrative post will cure his son of his dreams of becoming a poet. Suffering under his manager Albert Kestner, Johann’s mood brightens the moment he meets Lotte Buff - a beautiful and spirited woman, and also a free spirit like him. The couple fall in love, but to save the family fortune, Lotte is promised by her father to the worthy but boring Kestner. - A lightweight and sentimental love story told in beautiful images, which is not always strictly historically accurate.

Director Philipp Stölzl, born in Munich in 1967 and initially trained as a stage designer, first gained international attention for his music video productions for Garbage and Madonna. After Baby (2002) and Nordwand (2008), Goethe! (2010) is the third full-length feature film under his direction.
Genre Drama
Locations Germany
Year 2010
Director Philipp Stölzl
Screenplay Philipp Stölzl, Christoph Müller, Alexander Dydyna
Cast Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaußner, Henry Hübchen
Length 102 Minuten
Trailer http://wwws.warnerbros.de/goethe/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Single by contract

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Romantic comedy
color, 105 min.
Germany 2010


Lila has just spent a year as an exchange student in the United States. Back in Berlin, a lot has changed. At school, Paris-Hilton-blondes have the upper hand and her sister Luzy is crazy about a singer in the boy band Berlin Mitte. But Lila doesn’t worry much about all that. By chance she meets Christopher and the two fall head over heels in love. After a short time, it turns out that Christopher is actually Chriz, the acclaimed singer of the popular band Berlin Mitte. The couple now faces lots of turmoil and many problems: the squealing little sister, persistent female fans, the press and also Chriz’s manager, for whom it is clear that groupies don’t stay for breakfast, all stand in the way of the young lovers.

Witty and sophisticated, this teen comedy film is an entertaining experience for all ages. With the two excellent leading actors we are immersed in a moving and entertaining love story that sees the audience leave the cinema in a good mood.

Director Marc Rothemund achieved his breakthrough in 2005 with the award-winning film Sophie Scholl - The Final Days. Now with Single by contract, he has demonstrated his talent in a completely different genre.
Genre Romantic comedy
Locations Germany
Year 2010
Director Marc Rothemund
Screenplay Kristina Magdalena Henn, Lea Schmidbauer
Cast Anna Fischer, Kostja Ullmann, Roman Knižka
Length 105 Minuten
Trailer http://www.groupies-derfilm.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Autumn gold

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Documentary film
color, 94 min.
Germany/ Austria 2010


Autumn Gold impressively portrays five people aged 80 to 100 years, who are participating in the Senior World Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland. On the home stretch of life, the elderly athletes will settle for nothing less than the gold medal.

One of them is Alfred, discus thrower and 100 years old. He describes his sporting ambition as an inner urge, "I'm don’t like being second. I'd rather be first." Six months before the World Cup the native of Vienna has received an artificial knee. Will he be back on his feet in time for the competition?

Director Jan Tenhaven tells the true story of strong-willed and life-affirming athletes in old age. Of winning and losing, of success and setbacks: Autumn Gold is a tribute to old age.
Genre Documentary film
Locations Germany/ Austria
Year 2010
Director Jan Tenhaven
Screenplay Jan Tenhaven
Length 94 Minuten
Trailer http://www.herbstgold-derfilm.com/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Neukölln Unlimited

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Documentary film
color, 96 min.
Germany 2009/2010


In the Berlin district of Neukölln the brothers Hassan (18), Lial (19) and Maradona Akkouch (14) are fighting for the right for their family to stay in Germany. In 2003, the entire family was deported to their "home country" Lebanon. A short time later they managed to return to Berlin. Since then, they are officially "tolerated", but they do not have a real right to stay. They live in constant fear of deportation. And the family’s situation is overshadowed by the fact that the parents of the three children are separated.

The pressure of this situation creates problems within the family: Hassan, who wants to graduate from high school, enjoys playing the head of the family, something his sister Lial has a hard time accepting. Maradona, a boy highly talented but prone to getting into trouble, has been suspended from school several times. Against this background, dance and music are like an anchor in life. The film picks up the rhythm of life and youth culture in Neuköln.

An impressive film about laws and authorities, about creativity and passion and the multi-cultural youth scene in Berlin. Without generalizing, the filmmakers give an insight into the difficulties of an immigrant family trying to build an existence in Germany. At the 2010 Berlinale the film was named best film in the category "Generation 14plus".
Genre Documentary film
Locations Germany
Year 2009/2010
Director Agostino Imondi, Dietmar Ratsch
Screenplay Agostino Imondi
Length 96 Minuten
Trailer http://www.neukoelln-unlimited.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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November Child

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Drama
color, 94 min.
Germany 2008


The young girl Inga lives a quiet life in provincial eastern Germany. Raised by her grandparents, she is led to believe that her mother drowned in a swimming accident without ever revealing the name of her father. Inga’s world falls apart when a stranger appears: Robert, a lecturer in literature in West Germany. He claims to know Inga’s mother. In the early 90’s she had told him the story of her adventurous flight from the former GDR to the west, and the deep pain, from which she had never recovered, of leaving her daughter Inga behind. But before Robert could learn more she disappeared from his life.

Inga is deeply agitated, and has only one goal: to find her mother and learn what really happened back then. In her home village she encounters a wall of lies and suppressed guilt, and so asks Robert to accompany her in her search for her mother. So begins a search for clues right across Germany, during which it becomes ever clearer that Robert’s appearance in Inga’s life was no accident. In a haunting and evocative way, Novemberkind links Inga's personal story with contemporary history.

Novemberkind is the graduate thesis of director Christian Schwochow (born in 1978) and has won many prizes, including the public choice awards at the Max Ophüls Film Festival in 2008 and the MFG-Star Baden-Baden 2008. It was also awarded the prestigious rating ‘Special Merit’ from the Filmbewertungsstelle Wiesbaden. Filmkunstfest Schwerin named Anna Maria Mühe “Best new young actress” and she was nominated for “Best Actress” at the German Film Awards.
Genre Drama
Locations Germany
Year 2008
Director Christian Schwochow
Screenplay Heide Schwochow, Christian Schwochow
Cast Anna Maria Mühe, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Thorsten Merten, Hermann Beyer, Christine Schorn, Steffi Kühnert, Christina Drechsler, Adrian Topol
Length 94 Minutes
Trailer http://www.trailerseite.de/archiv/trailer-2008/10820-novemberkind-film-trailer.html
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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Run if you can

(c) Goethe-Institut

 

Genre: Drama/Tragicomedy
color, 112 min.
Germany 2009


After an accident, Ben is confined to a wheelchair and relies on the help of others. He takes out on others his frustration with his disability, not least in order to hide his personal insecurity. Christian, doing his community service as Ben's new nurse, is the one who feels it the most. Ben harasses him constantly, but Christian stands up to him and finally, the two become friends. Ben sees the possibility of having a love relationship as pure utopia, so he observes Annika, a young music student, only from a distance. He has long secretly adored her. On the way to the university Annika happens to meet Christian, who shortly thereafter introduces her to Ben. A friendship develops among the three of them - but both Ben and Christian fall in love with Annika, which makes things difficult...

In addition to the musical accompaniment, the film shines through the quick-witted remarks of the protagonists. Due to the outstanding acting of the leading actor, Ben's life in a wheelchair is impressively presented, as is the love and friendship within the love triangle.

Director Dietrich Brüggemann has completed his studies as director in 2006. Renn wenn du kannst is his first feature film. He wrote the screenplay together with his sister Anna Brüggemann. Their goals were to portray the stories of the protagonists as believably as possible and to dispel common stereotypes about disabled people.
Genre Drama/Tragicomedy
Locations Germany
Year 2009
Director Dietrich Brüggemann
Screenplay Dietrich Brüggemann and Anna Brüggemann
Cast Anna Brüggemann, Robert Gwisdek, Jacob Matschenz
Length 112 Minutes
Trailer http://www.rennwenndukannst.de/
Screenings in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho

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