Film screening Finsterworld by Frauke Finsterwalder

Thu, 10/22/2020

9:00 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox Toronto

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

Presented by the Goethe-Institut 
with the Miles Nadal JCC Toronto and the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre

Toronto 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 2013, 95 min.), directed by Frauke Finsterwalder, co-written with Christian Kracht, starring Sandra Hüller ("Toni Erdmann"), Johannes Krisch ("360"), Michael Maertens ("Phoenix"), Margit Carstensen ("The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant"), Ronald Zehrfeld ("Phoenix"), Corinna Harfouch ("Downfall"), Carla Juri ("Wetlands"; "Blade Runner 2049"), Bernhard Schütz ("A Most Wanted Man") and others

A journey through a surreal Germany: A police officer in a bear costume. A frustrated documentary filmmaker (Hüller) unable to find an interesting story. A rich couple who refuse to sit in a German-built car. A history student uninterested in a class visit to a concentration camp. 
In this pitch-black comedy with a star-studded ensemble cast of twelve main characters, all are bound by family ties or a moment of coincidence in a country where the sun always shines and everybody is beautiful, polite, successful, or happy. That is until they reveal their darker side, and we discover that the step from idyll to inferno is a short one. "Finsterworld" is an ironic antithesis to the Heimatfilm genre, full of malicious observations and sharp-tongued remarks. Not even the name of its director Frauke Finsterwalder remains unscathed. Rarely has German cinema produced so much black humour in one fell swoop.

"German documentary director Frauke Finsterwalder's fine fiction debut stars a strong ensemble that includes Corinna Harfouch and Sandra Hüller." — The Hollywood Reporter

“With Sandra Hüller, Corinna Harfouch, Margit Carstensen, Michael Maertens, Bernhard Schütz and Ronald Zehrfeld, the ensemble is the crème de la crème, the minimalist soundtrack by the great artist Michaela Melián is a trump card in itself. ” – Spiegel
“A documentary film director (Hüller), who is so self-involved, so fixated on her suffering from the rotten state of filmmaking that she can’t get anything done. Did Finsterwalder, who previously made documentaries, portray herself here? Yet another of the many exciting ambivalences that the film offers...” - Kino-Zeit


Awards & Festivals:

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Best Female-Directed Narrative
German Film Awards 2014: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay, Best Film Score 
German Film Critics Awards 2014: Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Feature Film Debut
Jerusalem Film Festival 2014: FIPRESCI Prize International First Film
Montréal World Film Festival 2013: Golden and Bronze Zenith
Vancouver International Women in Film Festival 2014: Best Feature
Zurich Film Festival 2013: Critics' Choice Award, Best German Language Feature Film

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.

Frauke Finsterwalder (1975, Germany) studied literature and history in Berlin. She worked at the Maxim Gorki Theatre and at the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Square and was editor at Süddeutsche Zeitung. Later, she studied documentary filmmaking at the University for Television and Film in Munich. Finsterworld is her feature film debut. 

Related Events:
by Hans-Christian Schmid
ABOVE US ONLY SKY by Jan Schomburg
AMOUR FOU by Jessica Hausner 
EXILE by Visar Morina
IN THE AISLES by Thomas Stuber

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