Film screening Exile by Visar Morina

Sandra Hüller sitting at a table in a dark room. © Komplizen Film

Mon, 10/26/2020


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GOETHE FILMS: Lose My Self – A Portrait of Sandra Hüller

Presented by the Goethe-Institut 

Canadian premiere!

Whether in the Cannes hit comedy "Toni Erdmann" or the exorcism drama "Requiem", the prolific Sandra Hüller (who was just named German "Actress of the Year") commands the screen, winning 3x best actress at the Berlinale, a European Film Award & the Toronto Film Critics Association Award. At TIFF19 she shone in the French productions "Proxima" & "Sibyl". GOETHE FILMS honors the versatile artist with a mid-career retrospective of many of her best features & shorts, some known, some discoveries.

Theatre Actress of the Year 2020
German Cross of Merit 2020​​

(Germany, Belgium, Republic Kosovo, 2020, 121 min.), directed by Visar Morina, starring Sandra Hüller ("Toni Erdmann"), Mišel Matičević ("Babylon Berlin"), Rainer Bock ("A Most Wanted Man"), Thomas Mraz ("The Tobacconist"), Stephan Grossmann ("Amour Fou") and others

First, there’s a dead rat hanging on the door of the house where Xhafer lives with his wife and children. Then the emails he sends are ‘accidentally’ no longer being received. The signs that this pharmaceutical engineer is being bullied and harassed in his workplace are increasing. Even if neither his wife nor his colleagues seem to believe him, this man, originally from Kosovo but well integrated for years and leading a nice surburban middle-class life in Germany, feels more and more like an outcast. Or is he losing touch with reality?

In his second feature-length film, director Visar Morina dissects the psychological effects of social exclusion and presents them here as an interplay between belonging and alienation. Morina combines subtle images that gradually shift according to his protagonist’s state with meticulous performances from his ensemble, to describe the importance of personality when it comes to living successfully in a  society, and how quickly cracks can develop in the supposedly firm construct that is identity. (Berlinale)

"An excellent-as-always Sandra Hüller" – The Hollywood Reporter

"This is quivery sensory cinema that paints complex themes in space and light, sometimes with the camera itself as aggressor: questioning and scrutinizing its protagonist to the last, exquisitely irresolute shot." – Variety

"A dark drama with the feverish appearances of a thriller." – Cineuropa

Awards and Festivals:
Sarajevo Film Festival 2020 (Best Film Prize)
Sundance Film Festival Competition 2020 (Nominee Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema - Dramatic)
Berlinale 2020
German Screenplay Award 2018

Sandra Hüller (born in 1978) discovered her passion for acting as a child. On stage, she often plays strong women, such as the widow of Nirvana’s front singer Kurt Cobain in Tom Schneider's play “For Love” (2009), Queen Elizabeth I in “Virgin Queen” (2009) at Volksbühne Berlin, or her most celebrated and current role as "Hamlet" at Schauspielhaus Bochum. She gained international recognition in the lead role in Maren Ade’s tragicomedy “Toni Erdmann” (2016), which premiered at Cannes and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. At Berlinale 2020 she starred in the psychological drama "Sleep" as well as Sundance competition title "Exile". Next, Hüller will star in the comedy "The Black Square" by Peter Meister. She was recently named German "Actress of the Year".

The title of our GOETHE FILMS Sandra Hüller retrospective is taken from her film ”Lose My Self,” her second collaboration with director Jan Schomburg, whose drama “Above Us Only Sky” we are showing in this series. The feature series will be accompanied by Hüller shorts & experiments on our film blog.

Visar Morina, born 1979 in Pristina, is based in Cologne. From 2004-2010 he studied film at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, while working on various film and theatre projects as assistant director at the Schauspiel Köln and the Volksbühne Berlin, among others. His diploma film "Death By Suffocation" was awarded at several national and international festivals, including Most Surprising International Film of the Year at the Odense International Film Festival in 2010. His subsequent short "Of Dogs and Wallpaper" (2013) was selected for the International Short Film Competition at Locarno 2013 and nominated for the German Short Film Award in 2014. Visar Morina’s debut feature film "Babai" premiered in 2015 and was awarded Best Director at Karlovy Vary IFF 2015 and Best Director, Best Script, and Best Actor at FilmFest München, among others. 

Related Events:
by Hans-Christian Schmid
ABOVE US ONLY SKY by Jan Schomburg
AMOUR FOU by Jessica Hausner
FINSTERWORLD by Frauke Finsterwalder 
IN THE AISLES by Thomas Stuber

Part of the Goethe-Institut's focus on German film