Fokus returns for fourth year

Festival showcases German films across Scotland

by Amber Wilkinson

Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise
Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise

Festival Fokus: Films from Germany returns to Scotland for its fourth edition this week.

Between November 22 and January 31, the festival - programmed by Filmhouse Edinburgh and the Goethe-Institut Glasgow - will showcase the best of contemporary German filmmaking alongside classics, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

The festival opens in Edinburgh with documentary Conny Plank: The Potential Of Noise - about one of the most innovative sound designers of his time and co-directed by his son Stephan.

This year's festival also celebrates female filmmakers including early work form Western director Valeska Grisebach and Margarethe von Trotta, who has four films in the programme.

Hans-Georg Thönges, director of the Goethe-Institut Glasgow said: “Film is the contemporary expression of the arts that probably excites us most.

“Films from Germany are movies with passion, humour, emotion and empathy. Films that, in their vitality and timeliness, are to build a bridge from continental Europe to the United Kingdom. With our fourth annual festival, Fokus, we invite audiences all across Scotland to explore Germany as a multifaceted country with a distinct artistic language and place within European film. I am particularly delighted that this event has been realised in close collaboration with many partners, in Scotland and abroad”.

Filmhouse head of programming Rod White added “Alongside this year’s eclectic selection of exciting new films, we also present a rare opportunity to view a selection of early films from the leading female filmmaker of the New German Cinema of the 1970s, Margarethe von Trotta. A few selected venues will also be giving audiences an opportunity to see two earlier works by Valeska Grisebach, whose recent Western was released in UK cinemas this year to considerable acclaim."

The films showing are:

Conny Plank: The Potential of Noise, Dir: Reto Caduff, Stephan Plank - Documentary about the sound experamentalist.

In The Aisles Dir: Thomas Stuber - Christian is new to the warehouse. He falls in love with Marion, but she’s married. Magical realism in the east German provinces.

The Second Awakening Of Christa Klages Dir: Margarethe von Trotta - A young woman who robs a bank with the help of her lover to pay for her daughter’s daycare. On the run, she is pursued by the police and, more ambiguously, also by the young woman who was her hostage in the raid.

Freedom Dir: Jan Speckenbach - A mother goes away, driven by the urge for freedom, leaving her husband and their two children in limbo.

The German Sisters Dir: Margarethe von Trotta - Two sisters take diverging paths to emancipation in West Germany.

Rosa Luxemburg Dir: Margarethe von Trotta - The story of the anti-war activist.

Beuys Dir: Andres Veiel - Portrait of the German artist. Read our interview with the director.

Berlin Excelsior Dir: Erik Lemke - Documentary about the assorted residents of an apartment building.

Naomi's Journey Dir: Frieder Schlaich - After her sister Mariella is killed, 20-year-old Peruvian Naomi travels to Germany with her mother for the murder trial.

The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum Dir: Margarethe von Trotta and Volker Schlöndorff - Young housekeeper Katharina falls for a handsome man at a party – who unbeknown to her, is a criminal on the run from the police.

Western Dir: Valeska Grisebach - A group of German construction workers on a job in Bulgaria begin to compete for the approval of the locals.

Longing Dir: Valeska Grisebach - A volunteer firefighter who witnesses the aftermath of a car crash finds his life turned upside down by an obscure, destructive longing.

Queen of Niendorf Dir: Joya Thome - A young girl and her friends try to save her dad's farm from foreclosure.

Wild Heart Dir: Charly Hübner, Sebastian Schultz - A documentary about the band Feine Sahne Fischfilet whose singer Jan “Monchi” Gorkow has become an unlikely force against racism and anti-Semitism.

For further details of the programme, including dates and times, visit the official site

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