2021 Year in Review
The first year of the German Film Office was packed with exciting programming, from digital German Movie Nights, to outdoor screenings with Rooftop Films, to the return of indoor in-person film screenings, both at the Goethe-Institut New York and with partner cinemas like Anthology Film Archives. To celebrate our first anniversary – and to thank you for your continued support – we’re pleased to present 2021 Year in Review: 12 of the films we showed this year plus a bonus feature will be available for free streaming December 24–January 2. These films are available to viewers across the United States.
Andreas Goldstein, Adam and Evelyn (2018)
David Nawrath, Atlas (2018)
Maryam Zaree, Born in Evin (2019)
Sven O. Hill, Coup (2019)
Karen Winther, Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind (2018)
Anna Sofie Hartmann, Giraffe (2019)
Andreas Dresen, Gundermann (2018)
Ulrich Köhler, In My Room (2018)
Ulrike Ottinger, Paris Calligrammes (2020)
Michael Venus, Sleep (2020)
Janna Ji Wonders, Walchensee Forever (2020)
Valeska Grisebach, Western (2017)
Ulrich Köhler, Bungalow (2002)
Adam and Evelyn
Dir. Andreas Goldstein
With Anne Kanis, Florian Teichtmeister, Lena Lauzemis, Milian Zerzawy, Christin Alexandrow
Summer 1989, East Germany. Adam works as a tailor, Evelyn as a waitress. They are planning a vacation together when Evelyn finds out that Adam is cheating on her and decides to leave on her own. Everything changes when borders begin to open mid-trip, and Adam and Evelyn now have to decide in which world—East or West—they want to build their future.
Dir. David Nawrath
With Rainer Bock, Albrecht Schuch, Thorsten Merten, Uwe Preuss, Roman Kanonik, Nina Gummich
Walter is a 60-year-old mover who specializes in evictions, and is the best and most loyal hauler that his boss Roland Grone employs in his moving company. Grone is planning a risky real estate deal: the tenants of an inner-city apartment building are supposed to be evicted and the building sold at a huge profit. However, one remaining tenant refuses to leave.
Born in Evin
Dir. Maryam Zaree
In her directing debut, German-Iranian actress Maryam Zaree confronts the circumstances of her birth inside one of the world’s most notorious prisons: Evin Prison in Tehran. Her parents were political prisoners and managed to find asylum in Germany. Faced with her parents’ silence surrounding their experiences in Evin, Zaree seeks information elsewere, interviewing other survivors, talking to experts, and searching for children born in the same prison.
Dir. Sven O. Hill
With Daniel Michel, Tomasz Robak, Paula Kalenberg, Rocko Schamoni
Hamburg in the 1980s. A rocker in the banking world might seem like a fish out of water. But if you discover a security vulnerability in the bank’s financial transaction system? You can quickly unburden your employer of 2.5 million German Marks and disappear to Australia, where your life of luxury can begin! But things don’t go quite as expected for this clever bank robber…
Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind
Dir. Karen Winther
Director Karen Winther confronts her own past as a member of a right-wing extremist organization in Norway, using her experience as a lens through which she explores other’s “exits” from extremist organizations, from former neo-Nazis, to U.S. right-wing extremists, left-wing extremist activists, and jihadists.
Dir. Anna Sofie Hartmann
With Lisa Loven Kongsli, Jakub Gierszał, Mariusz Feldman, Przemysław Mazurek, Janusz Chojnacki, Piotr Olszański, Andrzej Wicher, Piotr Jurczyk, Robert Płachta, Mirosław Piorunek, and Maren Eggert
In a Danish summer filled with long days and blue nights, construction on a tunnel between Denmark and Germany begins. This film ruminates on the effects and intersections of those touched by the project, from an ethnologist documenting buildings, to construction workers, to those about to lose their homes.
Dir. Andreas Dresen
With Alexander Scheer, Anna Unterberger, Axel Prahl, Thorsten Merten, Bjarne Mädel, Milan Peschel, Kathrin Angerer, Peter Sodann
Gundermann is a thoughtful biopic about the celebrated East German folk singer-songwriter. A man of wildly conflicting interests in music, blue-collar work, and the politics of the GDR, Gerhard Gundermann mirrors an equally tumultuous East German regime in the 1970s. Director Andreas Dresen examines his main character impartially, giving equal attention to moments of beautiful musical inspiration as to despicable acts of betrayal.
In My Room
Dir. Ulrich Köhler
With Hans Löw, Elena Radonicich, Michael Wittenborn
Sad-sack, 40ish TV cameraman Armin has been summoned home by his father to help tend to his terminally ill grandmother, but awakens one morning to find the world around him entirely depopulated. Ulrich Köhler’s fourth feature film takes a disarmingly realistic and restrained approach to the eternally popular “last man on Earth” fantasy.
Dir. Ulrike Ottinger
In this unusually undisguised foray into autobiographical film, director Ulrike Ottinger revisits Paris, using the city of today as a window into the city that helped form her as a young artist. Without dipping into the saccharine or sentimental, Ottinger paints a portrait of a particular time and place, blending archival materials, personal revelations, and clear-eyed analyses of the artistic and political currents of 1960s Paris.
Dir. Michael Venus
With Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Sandra Hüller, August Schmölzer, Marion Kracht, Max Hubacher
This unsettling psychological thriller – described by the director as “an antithesis to the German Heimatfilm” - tackles the horrors of the country’s past with folklore and fairytale imagery. Marlene, a woman plagued by horrific dreams, suffers a breakdown. While she is hospitalized, her daughter Mona comes upon a dark family secret.
Dir. Janna Ji Wonders
One family’s history, centered around a family home and café near Bavaria’s Lake Walchensee. From the cafe’s beginnings 90 years earlier, to her mother and aunt’s journeys in the 1960s – both physically and spiritually – director Janna Ji Wonders draws out intimate stories from five generations of women. Past and present collide, and individual stories touch on themes of the eternal cycle of life, identity, roots, and self-fulfillment.
Dir. Valeska Grisebach
With Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Vincent Syuleyman Alilov Lefitov, Veneta Frangova, Vyara Borisova, Kevin Bashev
A group of German construction workers installs a hydroelectric plant in remote rural Bulgaria. Tensions mount when Meinhard, the strong, silent newcomer in the group, starts mixing with the local villagers. An intense, slow-burning thriller, Western tells a universal story of masculinity and xenophobia on the contemporary frontier of Eastern Europe.
Dir. Ulrich Köhler
With Lennie Burmeister, Devid Striesow, Trine Dyrholm, Nicole Gläser
A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, director Ulrich Köhler’s debut film is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul, who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle. With Köhler’s penchant for deadpan humor and subtle performances, Bungalow becomes a quiet mockery of militarism, familial estrangement, and youthful ennui.