Film series Goethe Films:
Berlin Alexanderplatz

Poster Berlin Alexanderplatz © Stefanie Kulbach

Thu, 10/07/2021

6:30 PM


Presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto
at the TIFF Bell Lightbox
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Canadian premiere!

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, Netherlands 2020, 183min), directed by Burhan Qurbanii (We Are Young. We Are Strong), starring Welket Bungué (Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future), Albrecht Schuch (System Crashers), Jella Haase (Suck Me Shakespeer), and others. 

13 awards including German Film Awards for Best Actor, Best Score, Best Cinematography, Outstanding Feature Film and European Film Award for Best Composer.

Adaptation of Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel, set in contemporary Berlin: Fleeing from Guinea-Bissau, Francis set on a dangerous journey from Africa to Europe. When the boat he is on is hit by a storm, he swears to be an honest man if he is saved. He eventually arrives in Berlin, determined to fulfill his oath. Yet his good intentions are compromised by his friendship with German drug dealer Reinhold, who continuously manipulates the well-meaning and naïve Francis into taking part in his criminal schemes. When Francis falls deeply in love with kind-hearted Mieze, his life finally seems to take a turn for the better. But Reinhold isn't willing to let go of his "protégé".

Bonus Material: The series is contextualized by a video introduction and commentary by Dr. Tim Cook, Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum. The author of over a dozen books, the historian was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to Canadian history and received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. He is a Director for Canada’s History Society, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the Order of Canada. Cook’s new book on medicine in the Great War is forthcoming in September 2022.

"It’s a brave young director who has the gumption to revisit Alfred Doblin’s 1929 Weimar Republic classic Berlin Alexanderplatz." - The Hollywood Reporter

"This version of Berlin Alexanderplatz is full of despair, but it also has considerable soul, spirit, and heart." - The San Francisco Bay Times

Burhan Qurbani was born in 1980 near Cologne, Germany. He is a director and writer, known for We Are Young. We Are Stong (2014), a film recounting the actual "The Night of Fire" in which a raging mob in an act of xenophobic violence sets fire to a residential building housing a large population of Vietnamese residents in the eastern German city of Rostock in 1992. Qurbani's first feature film was Shahada (2010), the story of the fates of three German-born Muslims in Berlin colliding as they struggle to find their place between faith and modern life in contemporary western society, caught at a crossroads where alluring liberated lifestyles conflict with deeply-rooted traditions. 

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