Film Weekly

The cinema connection

Novemver 18 - 24, 2020

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Gulf Weekly The cinema connection

Seven of the best contemporary German films are due to be screened at the first-ever Gulf German Film Festival, starting tomorrow.

Organised by the German Embassy in Manama, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) and the Goethe Insitut in the Gulf region, the festival is livestreaming a range of films from art house to children’s movies and box office hits.

“Film plays an important role in communications between different cultures and people,” said Baca director general of culture and arts Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa.

“The German film industry reflects the nation’s cultural wealth and creates a platform for friendship and cultural exchange ties between Germany and other countries.

“We’re pleased to bring to our audiences in the Gulf, the voice of German cinematographers. Along with the German Embassy our mission of enriching the local cultural movement through events such as this festival continues to reflect the value of culture in creating hope, particularly during the exceptional circumstance that we are going through.”

The festival will run until Saturday and will be livestreamed on the German embassy’s social media channels.

It will kick off tomorrow with a 6pm screening of Undine, directed by award-winning and Oscar-nominated film-maker Christian Petzold.

The film, whose title refers to water nymphs premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival, where actress Paula Beer won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.

It tells the story of the eponymous Undine who works as a historian in Berlin. When the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth of water nymphs catches up with her, pushing her to kill her former love and return to the water.

Gundermann, directed by critically-acclaimed director Andreas Dresen, will be the second film to be screened tomorrow at 8.45pm.

The film tells the complicated life story of celebrated East German singer-songwriter Gerhard Gunderman, who became an icon amongst former East Germans who felt alienated and marginalised in a reunified Germany.

The 2018 film was a box office hit in the country and picked up six awards at the Deutscher Filmpreis, the German equivalent of the Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Leading Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Director.

Friday’s programme kicks-off with a family-friendly 11am matinee of Veins of the World, directed by notable Mongolian film maker Byambasuren Davaa. The 96-minute film is a child’s look at grief and a commentary on the pressure Mongolian nomads are seeing in the face of encroaching industrialisation.

At 2.30pm, System Crasher, directed by Nora Fingscheidt will take the screen, telling the story of violent nine-year-old Benni, who scares all around her and struggles to find a family that accepts her.

The 125-minute movie won numerous awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Actor and Best Actress at the German Film Awards 2020, and was also nominated for the European Film Awards.

Those craving a ‘moving’ movie night can tune in for a 9pm screening of The Mover, directed by David Nawrath, which tells the story of Walter, a 60-year-old removal man, who forcibly evicts people, until he is asked to evict his estranged son, Jan.

Saturday evening’s entertainment starts at 6pm with Born in Evin, directed by Maryam Zaree, who embarks on an autobiographical adventure to uncover the circumstances surrounding her birth inside one of the most notorious political prisons in the world.

It won the Best Documentary prize at the German Film Awards.

Closing out the festival is an 8.45pm screening of Dust, directed by Udita Bhargava. A joint Indo-German production, the film tells the story of a young German who visits rural India after the death of his Indian photojournalist girlfriend and retraces her documentation of the Maoist uprising in Indore.

“Bahrain is a country of cinema enthusiasts,” German ambassador to Bahrain Kai Boeckmann told GulfWeekly. “It is a great pleasure to share a selection of the best new movies in the German language with our friends in Bahrain.”

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