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CLOSING FILM: Gundermann

Gundermann © Pandora Filmproduktion
© Pandora Filmproduktion

Sunday, November 17, 6:15 pm (Reception), 7 pm (Screening)

Germany, 2018, 127 min., Director: Andreas Dresen, Screenplay: Laila Stieler, Cast: Alexander Scheer, Anna Unterberger, Benjamin Kramme, Eva Weißenborn


  • 2019 German Film Award (Lola) in six categories: Best Feature Film, Best Director (Andreas Dresen), Best Screenplay (Laila Stieler), Best Leading Actor (Alexander Scheer), Best Set Design (Susanne Hopf), Best Costume Design (Sabine Greunig); further nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Eva Weißenborn), Best Cinematography (Andreas Höfer), Best Editing (Jörg Hauschild), Best Make-Up (Grit Kosse, Uta Spikermann)
  • 2018 Gilde Film Prize for Best Feature Film
  • 2018 Günter-Rohrbach-Filmpreis for Alexander Scheer
  • 2018 Bavarian Film Award for Alexander Scheer, Best Supporting Actor
Rating: PG

Closing night reception takes place before the screening at 6:15 PM.
Discussion with cinematographer Andreas Höfer, moderated by Sky Sitney, follows the screening.

Gundermann tells the tale of a coal-digger who writes songs. A poet, a clown, and an idealist, he dreams and hopes and loves and fights. He is a family man, a rebel, a spy, spied-upon, a threat to the state. A do-gooder who doesn’t know any better. He is all of these things at once. Gundermann is a film of love and music, a drama about guilt and entanglement, a story of repression and self-empowerment. It is a film of home, of a fresh look at a now-bygone country.

With remarkable tenderness, humor, and affection for his subject, filmmaker Andreas Dresen creates a touching and inspiring portrait of East German folk hero and singer-songwriter Gerhard Gundermann. The political and passionate Gundermann found success in music in 1986 while still working as a coal-digger; he entranced audiences with his humble presence and his profound lyrics - a rich mixture of social commentary, levity, and melancholy. This intractable, brave, and contradictory talent lived a complex life highlighted by sincerity and defiance. Der Spiegel called the film “one of the richest, most sophisticated, and greatest films” about East Germany.

Andreas Dresen is one of Germany’s most admired directors, with numerous diverse and award-winning feature films to his name. Born in 1963 in Gera, East Germany, he began working in theater and making short films in the early 1980s. He studied directing at the HFF “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg. Since 1992, he has been working as a writer and director for film, TV, theater, and opera. His specific directing style is based on improvisation, which results in extraordinary acting accomplishments and a feeling of almost documentary-like realism.

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