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September 17-19, 2004

The Films of Christian Petzold

Christian Petzold ranks among the rising stars of young German filmmakers. While his TV productions Pilotinnen (1994) and Cuba Libre (1995) established him as a major figure on the film festival circuit, his debut feature, The State I Am In (Die innere Sicherheit, 2000) affirmed his status when it won the German Film Award in Gold 2001. His more recent features, Something to Remind Me and Wolfsburg, have also received international acclaim, winning the Adolf-Grimme Award and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale 2003 respectively. Not one to be pigeonholed by a specific film style, Petzold has so far crafted an impressive body of work which crosses genre lines from political drama to psychological thriller.

This program is co-presented with the Goethe-Institut Boston. Special thanks to Eric Rentschler, ZDF (Second German Television) and SCHRAMM FILM.


September 17 (Friday) 7 pm
September 19 (Sunday) 7 pm

Wolfsburg

Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 2002, color, 90 min.
With Nina Hoss, Benno Fürmann, Antje Westermann
German with English subtitles

Car salesman Phillip Wagner’s (Fürmann) life is forever changed when he becomes responsible for a hit and run car accident. The victim, a little boy, is fatally injured. Wagner’s initial desire for self-preservation dissolves into guilt. As his life crumbles he befriends Laura (Hoss), the grieving mother of the boy he killed. Petzold’s FIPRESCI Award-winning film captures the complexities of human strain and trauma.

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September 17 (Friday) 9 pm

Cuba Libre

Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 1995, color, 95 min.
With Richy Müller, Catherine Flemming, Wolfram Berger
German with English subtitles

Produced for German television, Cuba Libre follows three characters caught in a web of manipulation and deceit. Tom (Muller) and Tina (Flemming) are former lovers whose relationship has turned sour. Tom becomes involved with Jimmy (Berger), a petty gangster who promises him money. This unlikely trio attempts to escape their pasts and make a fresh start on Cuba, but nothing goes as planned.

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September 18 (Saturday) 7 pm
September 19 (Sunday) 9 pm

Something to Remind Me (Toter Mann)

Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 2001, color,, 90 min.
With Nina Hoss, André Hennicke, Sven Pippig
German with English subtitles

Something to Remind Me is a subtle, psychological thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Thomas (Hennicke) falls for a mysterious woman named Leyla (Hoss). As soon as he makes a connection with her, she vanishes, leaving Thomas desperate to find the object of his obsession. When he uncovers a connection between Leyla and Blum, a member of a re-socialization program, he rushes to find her before she disappears once again. Every gesture, word, and picture help to establish the film’s cool atmosphere of frozen emotions and human isolation. This extraordinary piece was awarded the Adolf-Grimme Prize in 2003 and the German Television Award for Best Director in 2002.

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September 18 (Saturday) 9 pm

The State I Am In (Die innere Sicherheit)

Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, 2000, color, 100 min.
With Richy Müller, Barbara Auer, Julia Hummer
German with English subtitles

 

A fictional account of former terrorists on the run with their innocent teenage daughter, The State I Am In follows the story of Jeanne and her parents who have been leading an anonymous existence for fifteen years among the tourists on the beaches of Portugal. Just when they are about to establish a legal identity for themselves in Brazil, a slight negligence causes everything to fall apart and gives Jeanne the opportunity to finally claim a life of her own. Recalling Sidney Lumet’s earlier Running on Empty, this study of the moral ambiguity of political actions examines the impact of one generation’s ideals on the next.

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