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Kinofest 2023 ©Goethe-Institut / Anschlaege.de

17.-26. November
KinoFest 2023

KinoFest is the Goethe-Institut's annual festival in Southeast Asia for contemporary German cinema. For the first time, the Goethe-Institut New Zealand is part of the festival and will screen a curated program from the 17th to 26th of November in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. 

Curated by Berlin-based film expert Gugi Gumilang, the 2023 Kinofest program features films by and about filmmakers and actors from marginalized communities in Germany. These films explore themes of migration, connection, and interconnection, offering a nuanced and multifaceted view of German society.

Read more about the curatorial approach and film selection of our curator Gugi Gumilang below.

Film program

Sisi and I Film © DCM Bernd Spauke

17.11. - 7pm
Opening night: Sisi and I

Irma falls head over heels in love with the captivatingly charismatic Sisi and her modern ideas. Together, they travel wherever their whims take them. And everything could go on forever like this, if only Sisi weren't Empress. The world reaches for her, attempting to break her.

Nasim Film Picture © Rosenpictures Filmproduktion

18.11. - 10.30am

A documentary about refugees that addresses neither their journey to the country of refuge nor their integration. Instead, directors Arne Büttner and Ole Jacobs have made a film about stagnation: Nasim and her family are stranded on the island of Lesbos, at Moria refugee camp, which was still open in 2020.

Sun and Concrete Film © Constantin Film Verleih

18.11. - 4pm
Cancelled: Sun and Concrete

Based on the bestselling book of the same name by comedian Felix Lobrecht, director David Wnendt tells a story with great sympathy for the coming-of-age protagonists. It's a tale of friendship and solidarity within the microcosm of Gropiusstadt in Berlin-Neukölln in 2003.

18.11. - 4pm
Sisi und ich

Irma verliebt sich Hals über Kopf in die mitreissend charismatische Sisi und ihre modernen Ideen. Gemeinsam reisen sie, wohin sie die Laune trägt. Und alles könnte ewig so weiter gehen, wäre Sisi nicht Kaiserin. Die Welt greift nach ihr, um sie zu brechen.

We might as well be dead Picture © Heartwake Films

18.11. - 7pm
We might as well be dead

Anna is a security officer, living with her daughter Iris in a luxurious high-rise on the edge of the forest. Living here, shielded from the threatening environment, is the goal of many people. However, when the caretaker's dog disappears, fear creeps into the building beneath the threshold.

Republic of Silence Picture © No Nation Films and Les Films d'ici

19.11. - 10.30am
Republic of Silence

A cinematic mosaic of episodes and fragments, sketches and narratives, emotions, and information – ingeniously blended into an almost epic documentary narrative about the civil war in Syria, which has now lasted for far more than a decade.

Toubab © Max Preiss

19.11. - 4pm

After being in prison, Batu is looking forward to a new beginning with buddy Dennis. But of all things, his welcome party where all the boys from the block are gathered ends in a police operation. 
Batu has his hands cuffed again and is confronted with dramatic news. 

The Ordinaries film still ©Bandenfilm

19.11. - 7pm
The Ordinaries

Sophie Linnenbaum portrays a hierarchically structured three-class society slowly moving towards a revolt in this science fiction film. The story is told through a 16-year-old student who, from her privileged milieu, finds herself in the slums and surprisingly makes friends there.

Hao Are You Film © F Mag

25.11. - 10.30am
Hao are you

His mother blames communism, his uncle holds an inheritance dispute responsible, and the rest fall into silence: Dieu Hao Do explores the fragmentation of his family, which, like 1.5 million other Vietnamese, had to leave their homeland in 1975 and has not spoken to each other since.

Iron Butterflies Picture © Babylon'13

25.11. - 4pm
Iron Butterflies

In the summer of 2014, sunflower fields and coal mines in eastern Ukraine transform into a 12-square-kilometer crime scene. A multifaceted examination of the downing of the Malaysian passenger flight MH17, where a butterfly-shaped fragment was found in the pilot's body.

Le Prince Film © Komplizen Film

25.11. - 7pm
Le Prince

A Congolese man and a German woman fall in love and enter into a relationship, knowing full well that it is not going to be easy. Indeed, the man has more criminal energy than the woman would like, but she would rather be his saviour than his ally.

Love, Deutschmarks and Death Film © filmfaust - Film Five

26.11. - 10.30am
Love, Deutschmarks and Death

Over 60 years after the first arrival of Turkish workers in Germany, director Cem Kaya lets early immigrants tell their stories. Concurrently, he showcases the diversity of German xenophobia through archival TV footage from that era.

Elaha Film © Christopher Behrmann

26.11. - 4pm

22-year-old Elaha obsessively tries to regain a perceived innocence she lost through sex. A plastic surgeon is supposed to restore her so-called virginity, but she can't afford the expensive procedure. 

Talking about the weather Film © DFFB New Matter Films

26.11. - 7pm
Talking about the weather

For her mother's 60th birthday, Clara, a philosophy doctoral student from Berlin, travels to the Mecklenburg province. The self-determined urban existence meets familial roots.



Logo Len Lye Centre ©Govett-Brewster Art Gallery