Atlas © Pandora Film Verleih

Sat, 05/15/2021 -
Mon, 05/17/2021


Presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto
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Should I stay or should I go? How to live our lives very much centres around whether to live in or out of our (imagined) urban spaces. Cities can mean connectivity and community or boredom and loneliness, they are projections of dreams and disappointment, places of becoming or despair.

Across three new films —poetic, rough, melancholic, hopeful, curious and longingly— GOETHE FILMS enters worlds of urban absence and aspiration: around social struggles and gentrification (“The Mover”), around provincial and urban (queer) lives (“Neubau”), and of the yearning for participation and human contact in Berlin, across gender, generations, and backgrounds (“A Lonely City”).

15-17 May 2021 6pm-6pm EST streaming window

"The Mover” (“Atlas”) (Germany 2018, 99 min.), directed by David Nawrath, starring Rainer Bock, Albrecht Schuch, Thorsten Merten, Alfred Hoppe, Nina Gummich, Friederike Bellstedt, and others.

Bonus material: commentary by urbanism Prof. Ahmed Allahwala

60-year-old Walter is a furniture remover for forced evictions in Frankfurt. Walter ignores all the aches and pains his tough job creates, just as he ignores the pain of the people whose lives he invades. His boss is planning a risky real estate deal with a dodgy family clan. When the old apartment building is to be evacuated to be resold for a huge sum, one occupant refuses to move out. Walter thinks he recognizes his son in this young man, the son he ran out on years ago. Without disclosing his real identity, Walter cautiously gets closer to Jan and his young family. When he realizes how erratic the men his boss has gotten involved with are, Walter comes under pressure.

“Realistically and thrillingly staged. Carried by excellent actors, The Mover is a political, almost documentary-like explosive and extremely exciting feature.” – Galore

“Nawrath succeeds in captivating the paradox of taking a close look at an inscrutable character: A man with a hidden past takes his chance to be a good person — in doing something bad. Walter may seem like a man of few words; but actor Rainer Bock gives him astonishing faces.” – Frankenpost

“The Mover tells its dark, violent, almost fateful story of guilt and atonement in a manner reminiscent of Clemens Meyer's novels. Incredibly aligned is Rainer Bock’s changeable acting, whose force will leave you speechless.” – Filmdienst

Festivals & Awards:

Torino Film Festival: Best Actor International Competition
German Film Critics Association Awards
German Screen Actor Award: Best Leading Actor
Guenter Rohrbach Film Award: Best Male Actor, Special Achievement


David Nawrath, born 1980 in Berlin, grew up between Germany and Iran and studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). In 2005, his feature-length documentary "Moharram – Youth of Eternal Dawn,” a portrait of modern teenagers in restrictive Tehran, came out. His short film "What’s Left" was nominated for the German Short Film Award and the European Short Film Award. After spending time in Paris at the Résidence du Festival de Cannes, he returned to Germany to realize several documentary projects. Together with Paul Salisbury he wrote the screenplay for "The Mover,” his critically acclaimed feature film debut.

Ahmed Allahwala is a German-born and Toronto-based professor of human geography at the University of Toronto. He received his MA at the Free University Berlin followed by his PhD from York University Toronto. His research and teaching focuses on community development and urban social change, city politics and urban planning, as well as migration and multiculturalism.

Tailored to fit the moment GOETHE FILMS resume at the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox with exclusive online access for Canadian viewers. Tickets on sale May 6. Once purchased, viewers will have a 48h watch window to hit play. After hitting play, you have 24h to watch the film once. For further questions feel free to visit digital TIFF FAQs, contact TIFF customer support at, or the support chat at daily from 2- 8 pm (incl. weekends and holidays).

Part of the Goethe-Institut focus on German film