GOETHE FILMS: Stronger Than Blood
Presented by the Goethe-Institut
Over the last two decades, a thriller sub-genre has carved out a popular and critically acclaimed niche in German cinema: gangster films by (arthouse and mainstream) filmmakers —Arslan, Yildirim, Akin and others— with star actors —Ünel, Bleibtreu, Löw— often of immigrant or métissage descent. Some films tell hard-hitting street crime stories, some are tender explorations of inner-city life and love. All introduce us to fresh, complex (and predominantly male) characters that appeal well beyond their own worlds as they navigate conscience, honour and responsibility for their actions.
(Germany 1999, 74 min) written and directed by Thomas Arslan (BRIGHT NIGHTS) starring Tamer Ygit, Idil Üner (SHORT SHARP SHOCK), Birol Ünel (HEAD-ON)
Awards & Festivals:
Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize Forum of New Cinema 1999
Berlinale Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Forum of New Cinema 1999
Despite many attempts, Can is unable to devote himself to anything other than a career in crime as a small-time dealer and errand boy for drug boss Hakan. Hakan keeps his customers supplied within his narrowly staked out territory. Can's lover Jale, who works in the warehouse of a department store, has been pressing Can to give up his illegal activities. Can, also fed up with his situation, sees a bright new beginning for himself and his family when Hakan offers him the prospective chance to run a bar on his own. But Can has little control over the pressure that gradually begins to build up around him and soon finds himself floundering in quicksand.
“This intimate diary portrait of a young Turkish drug pusher caught between family (his young wife and child), mob patron, cops and the daily grind is a stunning and assured piece of work.” – timeout.com
Thomas Arslan was born 1962 in Braunschweig. He studied at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). Arslan has been working as a freelance screenwriter and filmmaker since 1992, and since 2007 also as a lecturer at the University of Arts in Berlin. After his feature film debut he began producing the film trilogy BROTHERS AND SISTERS (1996), DEALER (1999) and THE BEAUTIFUL DAY (2001) – three thematically different films that all deal with the lives of people of Turkish descent in Berlin. With IN THE SHADOWS, Arslan presented a genre film at the Berlinale 2010. In 2004 he was part of the jury of the International Forum the young movie. His dramatic western GOLD starring Nina Hoss is set in British Columbia during the gold rush was in the competition of the Berlinale 2013, as was his BRIGHT NIGHTS in 2017. His name is widely associated with German-Turkish cinema, referring to the works of several filmmakers who were very successful starting in the 1990s with films that centered on immigrant characters in complex narratives not limited to migrant stories but depicting modern, urban, hybrid and transcultural societies.
All GOETHE FILMS are open to audiences 18+.
Part of the Goethe-Institut's focus on German film.
"CHIKO" by Özgür Yildirim
"STRONGER THAN BLOOD" by Oliver Kienle