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Focus on Germany at 57.Krakow Film Festival


Stills from Brother Jakob, Tales of the Singers and the Murderers and Dil Leyla

Every year, the cinema of a selected country is the special guest at Krakow Film Festival. This time, a vast part of the festival programme will be dedicated to the artistic output of Poland's western neighbour. In the "Focus on Germany" section, the latest documentary and short films will be shown, as well as films for young audience and a selection of student films. The filmmakers from Germany and Poland will meet at an industry conference.

 

- German films will also be included in three international competitions. It is a very powerful cinema, this year, 332 German films were submitted. It is high time to get back to this cinematography. For the first time, we presented German documentary films in 2008, and it was the Panorama of German cinema, which was shown then, that became the beginning of the presentations of national cinemas, but in the expanded formula, with the forum for producers, workshops and the industry conference, which should encourage joint production enterprises, says Krzysztof Gierat, the director of Krakow Film Festival.

 

In the main programme of the section "Focus on Germany," there will be 8 feature-length documentary films. "The Promise" (dir. Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger) is a story of the passion and the crime which shook the community of the state of Virginia in 1985. It is also a story about the first trial broadcast in the United States, seen through the eyes of its participants and the convicts themselves. Prisoners are also the main protagonists of the film "Tales of the Singers and the Murderers" (dir. Stefan Eberlein). The documentary film depicts the remarkable phenomenon of the national competition in which the convicts from all over Russia sing their way to victory with songs about longing, war, love and forgiveness.

 

Next two films were made in the Middle East, and both deal with the conflicts in that region. Katharina Waisburd, the director of "Holy Zoo," offers a new, original look at the subject matter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She thoroughly illustrates the relations of the Jewish and the Muslim employees of the zoo in Jerusalem - full of friendship, though not devoid of tensions. Whereas "Dil Leyla" (dir. Asli Özarslan) presents the inspiring fate of the youngest mayor in Turkey, a charismatic woman, Leyla Imret, who was 26 years old when she took up the post in a small town, Cizre, in the very heart of the Kurdish resistance movement. 

 

The films "Happy" and "Brother Jakob" are, in turn, very intimate looks of the filmmakers at their loved ones. In "Brother Jacob," the director Eli Roland Sachs makes an attempt to understand the decision of his brother, who converted to Islam after reading the Quran a few years earlier. The director Carolin Genreith, the daughter of the protagonist of the film "Happy," looks for the answer to the question what is really behind her father's relationship with the thirty years his junior Thai woman. 

 

The film which deserves particular attention is the latest production by the eminent Ukrainian documentary filmmaker, Sergey Loznitsa, the multiple award-winner of the highest laurels at Krakow Film Festival. "Austerlitz" is a thought-provoking film, leading to deep reflection, which shows the observation of the contemporary tourists visiting the memorial sites of the victims of the Holocaust. The film won Grand Prix of the festival in Leipzig.

 

The partners of the section "Focus on Germany" are: the Consulate General of Germany in Krakow, Goethe-Institut in Krakow, German Films, the Nuremberg House in Krakow, the festival DOKLeipzig and Krakow Technology Park.

 

The 57th Krakow Film Festival is held from May 28 to June 4, 2017.

 

 

 

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About Editor

Chatelin Bruno
(M21 Entertainment - filmfestivals.com)

The Editor's blog

 


 

 

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