City, Country, River

Goethe on Demand: Filmseries “City, Country, River” (Key Visual) © UFA Fiction 2018 / Schuldenberg Films, Smina Bluth / Basthorster Filmmanufaktur

The film series City, Country, River takes us through the diversity of German cities, villages and landscapes with a selection of twelve feature and documentary films. The films focus on regions and places away from the well-known big cities, inviting viewers to take a multi-layered look at the realities of life in Germany.

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Over a period of twelve months, the City, Country, River film series will take us through various locales and regions in Germany. In films and series, the portrayal of everyday German realities is usually characterised by large cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The big city backdrop has established itself as a popular setting for a wide variety of stories and genres. However, it alone cannot capture life in Germany in its geographical breadth. In fact, only just under ten per cent of the total German population live in these metropolises. A significant proportion of life takes place in the numerous small to medium-sized towns and in rural areas.

The City, Country, River film series provides an alternative to the cinematic dominance of well-known big cities and embarks on a twelve-month journey through various underrepresented parts of Germany. It thus offers an opportunity to explore multifaceted portrayals of everyday life and challenges as well as identity and relationship issues of the people living there. The selected films not only provide insights into the complexity of German filmmaking, but also invite viewers to reflect on the diverse realities of life in the nation. The film series kicks off in January with the film Talking about the Weather by Annika Pinske, in which the capital city is left for provincial Mecklenburg. The cinematic journey takes us through tranquil villages and forests, along rivers and into vibrant small towns. Against often unfamiliar backdrops, stories of places and their inhabitants unfold that deal with things like non-conformity, the negotiation of role models and family conflicts. Universal themes, such as the relationship between town and country or questions of coexistence, are explored in specific local contexts.

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