German Films at the Chicago EU Film Festival
Celebrating a milestone of 21 years, the Film Center’s most popular and ambitious annual festival will once again feature more than 60 premieres of movies from the nations of the volatile European Union. Experience some of the most provocative European movies by acclaimed and award-winning directors.
© Kris Dewitte, Neue Visionen Filmverleih
CLOSING NIGHT FILM: The Young Karl Marx
Director: Raoul Peck, color, 118 min., 2015-17, German with English subtitles
Saturday, March 31 at 3:00pm
Thursday, April 5 at 6:00pm
1843: 26-year-old Karl Marx lives with his wife Jenny in exile in Paris. There he meets Friedrich Engels, whose father runs a cotton spinning mill in Manchester. The two become friends, start writing revolutionary texts together, seek contact with the workers' movement "Federation of the Just" and fight in France, Belgium and England against many resistances - also from their own ranks for nothing less than a new social order. The end result is the work on the "Manifesto of the Communist Party".
Director: Nicolas Wackerbarth, color, 91 min., 2016/17, German with English subtitles
Sunday, March 25, 5:15 pm
Monday, March 26, 6:00 pm
Vera wants to make a remake of Fassbinder’s THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, but wants the role of Karin Timm (played, in Fassbinder's film, by Hanna Schygulla) to be taken by a man. She finds choosing a lead actress difficult as, unsuccessfully, she tests one candidate after another. Gerwin, a failed actor, has taken on the task of audition reader, initially without any prospect of landing a part in the film. Soon, however, he wants more than just the part of a stooge and begins scheming. Producer Manfred becomes ever more impatient because of the director’s demands. Gerwin's ambitious hope for a big role is shattered – he’s left with just a small appearance.
© Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Wim Wenders, color, 112 min., 2017, German with English subtitles
Saturday, March 24, 3:00 pm
Tuesday, March 27, 8:00 pm
Fate seems to be good with them when James More and Danielle Flinders meet by chance in a hotel in Normandy and fall in love with each other right away. They are both actually busy preparing for their respective missions: Undercover agent James is to uncover a training centre for terrorists and Danny, as a gifted biomathematician, is to investigate ways and means of combating climate change. Soon they are miles away from each other, James gets caught by jihadists. While he struggles for his life, Danny at the other end of the world doesn't know what she should think of the sudden radio silence. Did he leave her again? But there is no chance for James to contact her...
Bye Bye Germany
Director: Sam Garbarski, color, 102 min., 2017, German with English subtitles
Friday, March 30, 2:00 pm
Sunday, April 1, 3:00 pm
Frankfurt 1946: Jewish businessman David wants to start a business with friends who, like him, have barely escaped death. In doing so, he continues the tradition of his family, who were murdered in the Holocaust and who traded in white laundry. Self-proclaimed sales representatives move from door to door and use crazy tricks to get in to offer German housewives the finest bed linen. Their experiences are a picture of the early post-war period from a Jewish perspective.
Director: Rüdiger Suchsland, color + b/w, 105 min., 2017, German with English subtitles
Narrated by Udo Kier
Friday, March 9, 2:00 pm
Wednesday, March 14, 6:00 pm
Historian/filmmaker Suchsland, who surveyed Weimar-era cinema in FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER (2014), continues his journey through German film history with this fascinating exploration of its darkest, most problematic period. Closely overseen by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi film industry sought to become a second Hollywood--with state-of-the-art technology, a flourishing star system, and sophisticated marketing techniques aimed at a mass audience. Very few of the 1,000+ Nazi-produced films were overt propaganda, but almost none could be considered harmless entertainment, as they instilled state-supported values of duty, sacrifice, prejudice, and anti-individualism.
Director: Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany, 97 min., 2017, German with English subtitles
Sunday, March 25, 3:00 pm
Wednesday, March 28, 8:15
In 1777, in a last-ditch bid for a cure, a wealthy Viennese couple commits their ungainly blind daughter Maria, a self-taught harpsichord prodigy, to the care of Dr. Franz Mesmer notorious for his unorthodox experiments with hypnotism and magnetic fields. Eschewing romanticism, director Albert combines historical accuracy and a sumptuous production design with an acutely contemporary sense of class and the mechanics of manipulation, as the talented Maria becomes a pawn between her parents and the ambitious society doctor, but discovers that the possibility of sight comes at a terrible price.
Director: Josef Hader, Austria/Germany, 103 min., 2017, German and Italian with English subtitles
Friday, March 16, 8:15 pm
Monday, March 19, 8:15 pm
A stuffy fiftyish Viennese music critic gets unceremoniously dumped by his newspaper in favor of a clueless but cheaper millennial, kicking off this arch mid-life crisis-revenge comedy, the first feature as writer/director by popular standup comic and actor Hader. Georg continues to fake the highbrow life to his younger baby-craving psychiatrist wife, while leading the humiliating lowbrow routine of the unemployed. Hader casts a satirical eye on both his hero and his adversaries, as a chance encounter puts Georg in an unusual business arrangement with his childhood nemesis, while he plots a string of prankish strikes against his former editor.