PORTLAND GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL – Monthly Film Series
In our Monthly Film Series, we will show a variety of GERMAN or GERMAN language films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, audiences will now have a chance to see these films on a regular basis at the CLINTON STREET THEATER. (Children movies will be playing on Sunday afternoons – please check our website.) All films are with English subtitles.
Christoph Hochhäusler’s political thriller shines a light to the topical issue of power, lobbyism and the manipulation of the media. THE LIES OF THE VICTORS untangles a cunning web involving indiscretion, the spreading of half-truths, the hunt for a big scandal, and the, at times, dubious methods of lobbyists. Hochhäusler takes a look behind the scenes revealing how offstage players influence and control political and journalistic processes.
Christoph Hochhäusler's works have premiered in Berlin (Forum, Competition) and in Cannes (Un Certain Regard). Aside from filmmaking, he has published essays in several film journals, and he lectures in the film departments of various universities in the USA and Germany, such as Harvard (VES), Hamburg (Media School), Munich (HFF) and Berlin (DFFB). He is also founder and co-publisher of the film magazine Revolver. Born in 1972 in Munich, he studied Architecture in Berlin before graduating in Film Directing at the University of Film & Television Munich (HFF). His feature films include: DREILEBEN - ONE MINUTE OF DARKNESS (TV, 2011), THE CITY BELOW (2010), the episode SÉANCE in DEUTSCHLAND 09 (2009), LOW PROFILE (2005), THIS VERY MOMENT (2003), and THE LIES OF THE VICTORS (DIE LÜGEN DER SIEGER, 2014).
Fabian Groys, a renowned journalist for a political news magazine, enjoys great freedom since the stories he uncovers make for good sales. When he is saddled with an intern, he reacts sulkily, but after losing his hot story about questionable army policy towards injured veterans, he switches to a gory zoo story that he’d actually meant to leave to the intern. But there seems to be more behind the suicide of a man who had himself torn to shreds by a lion. Signs proliferate indicating that the two stories are interlinked. Is it pure coincidence, or is Groys the victim of nebulous figures who are skillfully feeding him information? Is he still an independent investigative journalist or has he long since been made into a puppet captured in the sticky threads of a web, spun by forces unknown? And if this is the case, how can Groys regain his independence if he is battling an opponent who never steps out of the shadows?
Axel Ranisch’s coming-of-age tale is told with equal parts humor, absurdity, honesty, and pain, with a sensitive touch that never loses sight of the film’s refreshingly awkward sweetness.
Cast: Frithjof Gawenda, Heiko Pinkowski Christina Grosse, Robert Alexander Baer, Talisa Lilli Lemke, Christian Steiffen, Rosa von Praunheim
Actually, Florian is happiest when his dad isn’t at home. Then he can dance around the house with his mum, wear crazy costumes and forget all his troubles. And Hanno doesn’t really know what to do with his son, who has two left hands, a far too big belly and is interested in neither sports nor girls. But it’s not that bad! There is still mum. With a tender dominance she keeps the family’s fragile harmony in check and protects her two men from each other. At least until one terrible morning, when the house of cards collapses and mum vanishes from their lives from one moment to the next. Father and son are left behind, overwhelmed, but gradually learn to cope and find common ground. This is the story of ICH FÜHL MICH DISCO. sometimes humorous and absurd, sometimes sad, sometimes fabulous.
Remembering Romy Schneider on her 80th birthday
The Austrian-born actress Romy Schneider (1938–1982) began her career as the teen-aged star of a series of popular films about the young Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth (“Sissi”). But the “German Shirley Temple” soon transformed herself into a sensual, intelligent young actress who garnered international attention when Italian director Luchino Visconti featured her in his segment of the 1962 omnibus film Boccaccio ’70. She rose to further prominence through a wide range of often challenging collaborations with some of the world’s most renowned film directors, including work with Orson Welles in The Trial, Otto Preminger in The Cardinal, Claude Sautet in Les Choses de la vie, Joseph Losey in The Assassination of Trotsky, and Bertrand Tavernier in Death Watch. The passerby (Die Spaziergängerin von Sans-Souci / La passante du Sans-Souci) was Romy Schneider’s last movie. She received the César Award as best actress posthumously for this role. 36 years years after her tragic and untimely passing, her films serve as a testament not only to her stunning screen presence but her great versatility as an actress.
Paris, in the early 1980s: Max Baumstein, a successful businessman and committed human rights activist, shoots the ambassador of Paraguay and immediately turns himself in to the police. When he is being tried for murder, he explains the background of his action. The story begins with the start of the Third Reich and Nazi terror, under which Max suffered as a 12-year-old. After the assassination of his father, Elsa Wiener, the wife of a publisher, flees with Max to Paris. Her husband Michel is sentenced to five years in a concentration camp. The German ambassador chases after Elsa. She sleeps with him to secure the release of her husband. But when Michel arrives in Paris to meet Elsa, von Leggaert has the couple shot. Decades later, Max recognizes the Nazi criminal – who is now the ambassador of Paraguay.
This political drama sheds light on the historical figure Fritz Bauer, the Hessian Chief Public Prosecutor who was involved in the capture of Adolf Eichmann between 1959 and 1962.
Cast: Ulrich Noethen, David Kross, Dieter Schaad, Bernhard Schütz, Nathalie Thiede, Attila Georg Borlan
In the early years of the Federal Republic, politics and the law in the late 1950s are still being controlled by an old-boy network made up of Nazis who had only been reformed on the surface. The Hessian Chief Public Prosecutor Fritz Bauer is fighting a lone battle against the cover-up of Nazi crimes and the restorative policies of the Adenauer government – he’s convinced that this is the only way the young democracy can stabilize.
His attitude, as well as his short temper, make Bauer vulnerable, and the lone warrior is constantly faced with resistance from politicians, intelligence services and the judiciary system. Knowing that there is little interest in Germany for the capture of Adolf Eichmann, Bauer attempts to persuade the Israeli intelligence service to arrest the organizer of the mass deportations who is believed to be in Argentina.
Bauer successfully manages to set secret negotiations with the Mossad in motion for Eichmann’s arrest. Supported by the young federal prosecutor Joachim Hell, Bauer perseveres. Using material from Eichmann’s interrogations, he wants to open a case against the Head of the Federal Chancellery Hans Globke, in order to punish him for his involvement in the deportations. In so doing, he dares to go against Adenauer’s closest political confidant.
A former German World War II officer journeys to the Ukraine with his granddaughter to find the only woman he ever loved – just as a new war breaks out in the former Soviet Union in Spring 2014.
Cast: Juergen Prochnow, Petra Schmidt-Schaller, Tambet Tuisk, Suzanne von Borsody
The gripping and touching drama about love, forgiveness and the long shadows of the past sends its protagonists Jürgen Prochnow (“The Boat”, “The English Patient”, “The Da Vinci Code”) as the old man and Petra Schmidt-Schaller (“Stereo”, “My life in Orange”), one of the most talented German actresses as his granddaughter, on an exciting road trip through a land in turmoil. Helmed by prize-winning director Nick Baker Monteys (“The Man Who Jumped Cars”).
About the Director:
Nick Baker-Monteys was born in Berlin in 1964. He gained a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Stirling in Scotland and worked as a journalist for different London newspapers before moving to Berlin in 1990 shortly after the Wall came down. Since then he has worked in Germany as a writer, director and script consultant on films for cinema and television and is a guest lecturer and tutor at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin. His films include: PERFECT MOMENT (short, 2006), THE MAN WHO JUMPED CARS (2010), and THE FINAL JOURNEY (2017).
When Eduard’s wife dies, his daughter wants to put him in a home. Instead he gets on the train and embarks on an odyssey that doesn’t end until he gets to Russia. Eduard is looking for the woman he fell in love with while serving alongside the Cossacks, many of whom fought with the Wehrmacht against the Red Army. Eduard has never talked about his wartime experiences, but they’ve thrown a long shadow over the family. He has a terrible relationship with his daughter. And his granddaughter, Adele, can’t stand the cantankerous old man. But when Adele’s mother tells her to go to the station in Berlin and get Eduard off the train, she reluctantly agrees: he’s over 90, belongs in a home and there’s a war about to break out in eastern Ukraine. Eduard isn’t going to be stopped however, so Adele is forced to jump on the train to Kiev and join him on his search. The journey forces Eduard to confront his true feelings. And his past. And Adele slowly begins to realize that Eduard’s war, which she always thought had nothing to do with her, is the key to who she is.
BORNHOLMER STRASSE is a magnificently ironic and astonishingly moving comedy about hope meeting despair and heroes who have no desire to be such.
Cast: Charly Hübner, Milan Peschel, Rainer Bock, Max Hopp, Ludwig Trepte, Ulrich Matthes, Frederick Lau
9 November, 1989: At the Bornholmer Straße border checkpoint in Berlin, GDR soldiers and customs officers are shocked by an announcement made by Günter Schabowski, member of the Central Committee of the Politburo of the SED, as he reveals in a press conference, broadcast live on television, that all East German citizens will be allowed to cross into the West. Many people are caught up in the euphoria – and not realising that they still require a passport and visa, head straight to their nearest checkpoint. Lieutenant Colonel Schäfer and his men still haven’t realised what will be in store for them later that evening. It ends with the border being opened – the beginning of the end for the GDR.