OPENING FILM: Sealed Lips (Und der Zukunft zugewandt)
Available to Stream
From: Wednesday, November 18, 7:00pm EST
To: Friday, November 20, 11:59pm EST
Germany, 2018, 104 min., Writer & Director: Bernd Böhlich, Cast: Alexandra Maria Lara, Robert Stadlober, Stefan Kurt
In German and Russian with English subtitles.
Antonia Berger, a young German and enthusiastic Communist, goes to the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Whilst there, World War II begins, and the bitter conflict between Germany and Russia turns suspicious eyes upon all foreigners in the USSR. Antonia and her husband, also a German Communist, are imprisoned in Vorkuta’s labor camp just north of the Arctic Circle. Their daughter, Lydia, is born into the Gulag, growing up knowing only this bleak and inhuman place.
After being released from the gulag in 1952, Antonia manages to return home to the new socialist East German state with Lydia. She is forced by her party comrades to keep her terrible experiences secret for the common good. Only after Stalin's death does she speak out about her time in the Soviet Union. But her newly regained freedom is taken away from her again when her lover, a committed Communist, informs the authorities about what he has learned. Antonia has to make a choice – between truth and the present.
Bernd Böhlich, born in Löbau in 1957, worked as an assistant director at the German Television Broadcasting Corporation in Berlin after his high school graduation. Since completing his studies of directing at the Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg, he has been working as an author and director. His graduation film at the Film Academy, Fronturlaub, was screened at numerous international festivals. In the early 1990s, Bernd Böhlich was awarded the renowned Grimme Prize for two of his television films. In 2007, he celebrated a huge success with his feature film debut Du bist nicht allein (You Are Not Alone), starring Axel Prahl and Katharina Thalbach. In 2008, he found further success with Der Mond und andere Liebhaber. In 2012 he directed the comedy Bis zum Horizon, dann links!, about an adventurous journey that changes everything. The film thrilled well over 200,000 cinema-goers in Germany. Bernd Böhlich also became known for the Krause television films, with Horst Krause in his parade role as the eponymous police chief in the Brandenburg village of Schönhorst. With Und der Zukunft zugewandt, Bernd Böhlich returns to the big screen.