German Film Festival 2019
Kino for Kids: Big Stories for Small Viewers
Every film festival offers a two-way transaction. For the audience, it’s a chance to watch the latest and greatest movies available, ranging beyond those headed to the multiplex. For the festival, it’s an opportunity to showcase its carefully curated titles to the world. However, the best cinematic celebrations take the latter mission not only seriously, but to the broadest extent possible — including to the next generation.
By Sarah Ward
Berlinale, Germany’s centrepiece film event, makes a concerted effort to open up the festival-going experience to younger viewers via its Generation strands — and it’s in this spirit that Australia’s German Film Festival follows. As it did last year, the 2019 program includes a specific line-up for children, featuring six German-language films that are accessible to cinephiles-in-waiting.
From the sophomore Kino for Kids line-up, here are three films to look out for.
GOODBYE BERLINFatih Akin’s filmic resume is nothing if not eclectic, ranging from the visceral dramas of 2004 Golden Bear winner Head On, to the liveliness of the chef-oriented Soul Kitchen, to the western-leaning emotional epic of his Armenian genocide drama, The Cut. His past two films have continued the trend, with 2017’s exploration of grief, terrorism and justice in In the Fade lifted by Diane Kruger’s stunning performance, and this year’s The Golden Glove telling the tale of serial killer Fritz Honka and proving one of the most despised films of the Berlinale. And yet, on his resume also sits adolescent road-trip comedy Goodbye Berlin.
LITTLE MISS DOLITTLENearly a century after Hugh Lofting’s The Story of Doctor Dolittle was first published, more than 50 years since its first big-screen musical adaptation, and two decades after the Eddie Murphy-led version, the famous name and the concept of communing with animals comes to Little Miss Dolittle. This won’t be the last spin on the overall concept, with a Robert Downey Jr-starring take long in the works, but the tale’s basic premise has always been well-suited to children.
Young viewers are solely the target market for this upbeat, hijinks-laden affair, which sees 11-year-old Liliane’s (Malu Leicher) special ability both a source of trouble and a potential saviour. Filmmaker Joachim Masannek has a pedigree in all-ages features, including in the Die Wilden Kerle and V8 series, which shows as Lilli teams up with her new classmate Jess (Aaron Kissiov) to save an elephant kidnapped from the local zoo.