Fokus back for fifth year

German films showcase returns to Scotland

by Amber Wilkinson

Styx Photo: Courtesy of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Fokus: Films from Germany returns to Scottish cinemas for its fifth edition this month, running at cinemas across the country on dates between November 21 and January 31.

The programme - which aims to showcase the best of contemporary German language film - will celebrate the anniversary of the 1919 founding of the Bauhaus School in 1919 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The opening film - 100 Years Of Bauhaus, directed by Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch -considers the history of the movement and looks towards future-oriented design projects. Two films, meanwhile, consider the events of 1989 that would lead to the fall of the wall.

Andreas Dresen’s Gundermann considers East German singer-songwriter Gerhard Gundermann. Himself a digger driver in the brown coal fields of Eastern German Lusatia, he was able to capture the feelings of his fellow workers as well as the spirit of (n)ostalgia after reunification as few others did. However, his position of unofficial collaborator of the Stasi, informing on friends and foes alike, complicates the authenticity of his work and his legacy. Ultimately, Dresen’s Gundermann asks about the possibility of redemption in the aftermath of the GDR surveillance culture.

In Adam and Evelyn, director Andreas Goldstein uses the summer of 1989 and the dissolution of the German inner border as a backdrop for his love story between a couple. After an indiscretion by Adam, the couple’s idyllic summer holiday at Lake Balaton turns into a soul-searching journey that finds its end in West Germany. The film title’s biblical allusion haunts the characters – for at least one of them, the start in West Germany might feel like the expulsion from paradise.

Films touching on more modern issues, include Styx - a drama offering commentary on the refugee crisis.

The films will screening Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Ayr, St. Andrews and Dundee, along with school screenings.

The full line-up is:

100 Years Of Bauhaus Dir Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch - Cultural documentary about the art movement.

Hitler's Hollywood Dir Rüdiger Suchsland - A essay film on German cinema during the era of Nazi propaganda.

Adam And Evelyn Dir Andreas Goldstein - Potential romance blossoms against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

All About Me Dir Caroline Link - Biopic of Hape Kerkeling, who went from chubby class clown to one of the most-loved comics in Germany.

Different From The Others - Dir Richard Oswald - First released 100 years ago, a romance between a musician and his pupil is complicated by stigma and the attentions of an enigmatic blackmailer.

Styx Dir Wolfgang Fischer - A storm in the middle of the ocean, a boat full of refugees that is about to sink and a woman all by herself...

Gundermann Dir Andreas Dresen - Story of a construction worker turned singer-songwriter in the German Democratic Republic.

The Most Beautiful Couple - On holiday in Mallorca, Liv and Malte are attacked by three young men. Liv is raped and Malte is powerless to help her. They try to move on and rebuild their lives back in Germany but Malte cannot forgive himself. Then, one night in Cologne, he spots the guilty young man.

Atlas Dir David Nawrath -A father-and-son story against a backdrop of the criminal activities of Arabic Clans involved in the illegal real-estate business in German cities.

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