The much anticipated 13th annual Audi Festival of German Films is hitting Sydney from this month, showcasing over 50 award-winning, critically acclaimed features, shorts and documentaries that cinema-lovers won’t want to miss!
There’s sure to be something for everyone at this year’s festival, which includes everything from drama to comedy, horror, romance and even a western! Opening the festival is the thoroughly entertaining crime action-drama, Banklady, directed by Christian Alvart and based on the true story of Gisela Werler – West Germany’s first female bank robber. Nadeshda Brennicke is fabulous here as the unassuming femme fatale who goes from shy girl to notorious criminal, defying gender expectations of the 1960s; an era that is brought to life with the film’s great use of music and production design.
Brennicke is one of the festival guests this year, appearing at Chauvel on March 26th and 31st, and Palace Norton Street on April 1st for Q&A sessions. Festival talents Constanze Knoche, Leis Bagdach, Angus McGruther and Justus Neumann will also be making the journey down under for guest appearances at the festival.
Other highlights include Exit Marrakech, which will be showing on Oriental Night (an exotic Moroccan-themed festival event), and sees writer/director Caroline Link return here – over a decade after her Oscar win for Nowhere in Africa – doing what she does best with this exploration of culture and personal journeys set in Morocco. The country makes a stunning backdrop for this classic coming-of-age story about a troubled teenage boy named Ben dealing with feelings of neglect and resentment towards his career-driven father, and is one of the best reasons to see this film on the big screen. Ben’s relationship with an exotic Berber girl also adds a bit of drama and romance to the mix.
The Audi Festival of German Films will be showing at Chauvel and Palace Cinemas from Wednesday 26th March to Thursday 10th April. For more information, tickets and sessions times visit goethe.de/ozfilmfest
The Girl with Nine Wigs
Managing to be both heart-wrenching and uplifting, this tragicomedy is one of our faves from the 2014 festival, based on the true story of Sophie van der Stap.
The film follows Sophie’s fight to continue living after discovering she has a rare and aggressive type of cancer at just 21-years-old. Helped along the way by her carers and loved ones, it’s her collection wigs – each with their own distinct style and personality traits – that get her through the toughest of times, lending her their courage, sensuality and sense of humour when she needs it most.
Audiences will be swept away in Sophie’s journey to reclaim her identity, health and a ‘normal’ life as they watch her experience a myriad of emotional, psychological and physical battles. With just the right amount of lightheartedness and plenty of talent on screen and behind the camera, this film is certainly worth the watch.
Woyzeck: The Tragedy of a Simple Man
Based on an unfinished 19th century play and its various adaptations, this film is an extreme revisionist update on the original piece.
Woyzeck is the story of a young man, played adeptly by Tom Schilling, who works three jobs and participates in an illegal drug trial to support his family. The trial soon results in some serious side effects and the man’s life begins to spiral out of control.
Woyzeck is really quite a tragic tale, and while the original play focused more on the dehumanising effects of the military practices appropriate to its time period, this adaptation, given its contemporary setting, feels considerably more everyday, which ultimately adds to its authenticity and the horror of this man’s situation.
A great watch for those with a penchant for drama and doom.
This intriguing psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.
We meet Georg and Paul as teenagers on the day a pact is made between the pair: Paul can have Georg’s girlfriend, Anna, if he can have her back whenever he wants.
As you can imagine, it’s a deal that comes back to haunt Paul decades later when he’s happily married to Anna and Georg shows up (eek!). What happens next, you’ll never guess, as French director Denis Dercourt maintains suspense to the very last scene.