German Movie Nights: The Case You
Goethe-Institut New York
The German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of Alison Kuhn’s 2020 documentary The Case You at the Goethe-Institut New York, followed by a conversation between actors Isabelle Bertges and Nurit Monacelli. Please register to attend.
Just how far is it acceptable to push actors in the name of cinema? And at what point do you cross the boundary where acting becomes sexual assault? These are the questions raised by the testimony of six young women, including our guest Isabelle Bertges, who were manipulated and sexually abused during an audition. They knew beforehand that the film they were auditioning for was about incest, and they were familiar with the director’s controversial work, but during the audition, without prior discussion, they were groped, beaten, and forced to undress. These traumatizing experiences resurfaced when a few years later it transpired that the footage of the auditions had been made into a documentary.
The women aren’t just fighting back through the courts. They have banded together to tell their story on camera, in a sort of antidote to the toxic audition. The director, Alison Kuhn, is one of them. This neutralizes the camera’s potentially predatory eye and turns the lens into a liberating channel to express anger and demand justice.
World premiere: IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
“The Case You is angry. It is both a reenactment and an invocation, and calls to question the ethics in nonfiction filmmaking; how it can be that a documentary constructed out of director-driven abuse, a man in power abusing women looking for work, is accepted by an international film festival, under the auspices of ‘art’.” (Sight and Sound)
The Case You
Dir. Alison Kuhn
A Grasshopper Film release
Isabelle Bertges is a German-American stage and screen actor based in New York. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and Los Angeles. She has appeared in plays at Theater Trier, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Junges Schauspiel Frankfurt, and in films including Jessica Hausner’s Amour Fou, Ein Portrait von Liebe by Miguel Hernandez, and Alison Kuhn’s The Case You. Isabelle is a women’s rights activist, calling for more equal opportunity and treatment in the entertainment industry as a loud voice in the German #metoo movement.
Nurit Monacelli is a New York-based actor. This fall, she can be seen in a recurring role in the Netflix series Manifest. She has also recently appeared in shows including Blacklist, Inventing Anna, and Person of Interest. On screen she has appeared in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, Norman (starring Richard Gere), and in many independent films. Nurit has also worked onstage Off Broadway in New York as well as regionally and internationally. She currently teaches acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Montclair State University, and has also taught at NYU/Playwrights Horizons, NY Stage and Film and Lincoln Center.