The Crimson White

German Film Festival brought to Bama Theatre

Lauren Braun

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This weekend, the Bama Theatre will host the third annual German Film Festival, which will not only feature German films but also raise cultural awareness through filmmaking.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz, U.S. International and the Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa County, the festival is scheduled for Oct. 9-11 with four foreign films.

“The films are all German language with English subtitles,” said David Allgood, manager of the Bama Theatre. “They are very recent, usually have been released within the last year and none of them have played in Alabama before.”

This festival is brought to the Bama Theatre by the local German Film Committee.

“The German film committee has people that are part of the German community in Tuscaloosa; they live in the area and have some relation to the German community,” said Allgood. This committee became involved with the festival, which will bring more cultural awareness to Tuscaloosa.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, the festival will kick off at 2 p.m. with the film “Vorstadtkrokodile,” translated as “The Crocodiles.” Directed and written by Christian Ditter, Martin Ritzenhoff and Max von der Grün, the film features Hannes, a 10-year-old boy who wants to join a gang. The initiation is botched and Hannes is saved by Kai, a wheelchair-bound boy who also wishes to join the gang. However, Kai is the only witness to the failed initiation and is suddenly of great interest to the gang.

Following the opening film, there will be a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Greensboro Room. Authentic German food will be provided.

At 7 p.m., there will be a showing of “Gegen die Wand,” or “Head On.” Directed and written by Faith Akin, this drama/romance film has won several awards, including German Film Awards for Outstanding Feature Film, Actor, Actress, Cinematography and Direction.

The film focuses on Cahit, a 40-year-old, German-Turkish widower. He is devastated after his wife’s death and finds himself admitted to the hospital after crashing into a wall. At the hospital, he meets Sible, who is frustrated with her Muslim family’s traditions and makes an interesting proposition to Cahit: marry her so she can escape the oppression of her family and their traditions. “Gegen die Wand” is rated R and will last approximately two hours.

Sunday, Oct. 10, the festival starts at 7 p.m. with the showing of “Vision – Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen,” or “Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen.”

Directed and written by Margarethe von Trotta, this film has won German Film Award Nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Supporting Actress.

This film centers on the life of Hildegard von Bingen, a talented nun. She has the reputation of a religious futurist; however, her assertions contradict those of the convent’s at times. The nuns and monks at the convent offer support, as well as sabotage, to her.

The festival will conclude with the showing of “Wolke Neun,” or “Cloud Nine,” on Monday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m.

Directed and written by Andreas Dresen, Jörg Hauschild and Laila Stieler, “Wolke Neun” has won several awards including German Film Awards for Outstanding Feature Film (bronze), Best Direction and Best Leading Actress (gold), and at the Cannes Film Festival, Uncertain Regard – Jury Coup de Coeur (Dresen).

This film centers on Inge, a wife who has become bored with her 30-year marriage to Werner. She has had an affair and truthfully admits this to her husband. Now, she must choose between her husband and her new interest.

“The past two [German Film Festivals] have been very successful,” Allgood said. “We’ve had a large turnout.”

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German Film Festival brought to Bama Theatre