Film Screening Sabrina Sarabi: No One’s With the Calves

a young woman standing in a field, wind turbines in the background © Weydemann Bros / Max Preiss

Wed, 26.06.2024

7:00 PM

Goethe-Institut London

Goethe-Kino (Kinovorführung)

For this month's Goethe-Kino, we have picked up a film from the online Goethe on Demand series City, Country, River.  Sabrina Sarabi's second feature film No One's with the Calves shows such confidence in the visual and the actors’ strong performances that it needs to be seen on the cinema screen.
A field, a tractor, summer sun, the radio blaring, and we see Christin bouncing in the passenger seat during the jerky in the farm vehicle. She looks slightly irritated. Then the so far invisible driver stops, and with the curse "Fucking animals" he jumps off the tractor and collects a dead deer, dumping it at the side of the field. The driver is Christin's boyfriend Jan, monosyllabic and also somehow irritated. Shortly afterwards, they encounter a second dead animal, a female buzzard. Christin has to hold open the rubbish bag into which Klaus drops the bird. Klaus has come to repair the wind turbines that tower over the fields. He is from the city, older, different.

Director Sabrina Sarabi only needs a few minutes to create the mood that defines her taciturn, closely observing film - a mixture of latent aggression, boredom, sexual tension, frustration and thirst. Almost without interruption, the camera focuses our attention on the 24-year-old Christin, asks us to figure out what she might really want - apart from not being where she is - on the farm of her boyfriend's parents somewhere in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, where her job is to feed the calves. She seems to feel a connection to animals, perhaps identifying with their vulnerability and, in case of some, with their being animals for use. But she can also be cruel (to animals) and capable of destruction. Saskia Rosendahl, known from Lore, Relativity and Fabian, is brilliant in this role, for which she received the Leopard for Best Female Actor at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival. With No One's with the Calves, Sabrina Sarabi adapted the successful 2017 novel by Alina Herbing into a film, a counter-narrative to the rural idyll based on the author's own experiences in the context of the disillusionment of the post-reunification period. 

Germany 2021, 116 min., with English subtitles.
Written and directed by Sabrina Sarabi, based on the novel by Alina Herbing.  With Saskia Rosendahl, Rik Okon, Godehard Giese, Enno Trebs, Peter Moltzen, Anne Weinknecht.

No One's With the Calves will be streaming online as part of our Goethe on Demand-series City, Country, River for the whole month of June 2024. Please follow the link on the side of this page. 

Please note that we don't show any advertising and the film will start at the indicate at the listed start time.

About Sabrina Sarabi

Sabrina Sarabi was born in Kassel on 27 August 1982. From 2003 to 2007 she studied theatre, film and television studies in Utrecht (Netherlands), and subsequently screenwriting and directing at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts. Her short feature film "Spiel aus Glas" ("Game of Glass", 2009) was named short film of the month by the Wiesbadener Filmbewertungsstelle (German federal authority for evaluating and rating film and media) and won the Anec Award at the Giffoni Film Festival (Italy). Her 20-minute graduation film "Weisse Nacht" ("White Night", 2012) was screened at various international festivals, including the Brno International Short Film Festival (Czech Republic) and the Molodist Festival in Kiev (Ukraine). 

In the summer of 2017 Sarabi shot her first feature-length film: "Prélude", about a student (Louis Hofmann) at a music conservatory who threatens to break due to pressure to perform. The film celebrated its premiere at the Munich Film Festival in June 2019 and had its theatrical release in August of the same year. Her second feature film No One’s With the Calves celebrated its world premiere at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival in the Cineasti del presente section and was awarded the Leopard for Best Actress for Saskia Rosendahl. The film also won the German Camera Award 2022 and the German Film Award for Best Sound Design 2022.