German Movie Nights: Western
The German Film Office is pleased to present Western by Valeska Grisebach as part of its monthly German Movie Nights series. The film will be available to viewers across the United States.
An intense, slow-burning thriller, Western follows a group of German construction workers installing a hydroelectric plant in remote rural Bulgaria. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but tensions mount when Meinhard, the strong, silent newcomer to the group, starts mixing with the local villagers. The two sides speak different languages and share a troubled history. Can they learn to trust each other—or is the stage being set for a showdown?
With sweeping cinematography and tightly modulated pacing, Western tells a universal story of masculinity and xenophobia on the contemporary frontier of Eastern Europe. Drawing remarkably nuanced performances from a cast of non-professionals, Valeska Grisebach uses the trappings of the western genre to poke and prod at current anxieties about borders and our relationships with our neighbors.
Critic’s Pick! “Beautifully complicated, rigorously straightforward. There is no doubting Ms. Grisebach’s filmmaking... WESTERN is as precise as a dropped pin on a GPS map, which makes its sense of mystery all the more powerful.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“A story that can feel as familiar as a John Ford movie, if one attuned to dislocation and discontent in contemporary Europe. Ms. Grisebach has a feel for mood, place and real, lived-in faces.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Dir. Valeska Grisebach
With Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Vincent Syuleyman Alilov Lefitov, Veneta Frangova, Vyara Borisova, Kevin Bashev