WASHINGTON FILM INSTITUTE
cordially invites you to Opening Weekend of the
FILM NEU FESTIVAL
Washington’s annual showcase of new cinema from Germany, Switzerland and Austria
SATURDAY JANUARY 21
LANDMARK E ST
10TH & E NW
Germany, 2011, color, 126 mins., German with English subtitles
Director/Screenplay: Carsten Unger Producer: Reza Bahar, Nicole Ringhut Cast: Martina Gedeck, Markus Krojer, Antonia Lingemann, Thomas Thieme, Hanns Zischler Sales: Gifted Films (Ludwigsburg, Germany)
Discussion at Landmark with DIRECTOR Carsten Unger and PRODUCER Reza Bahar follows the screening.
As a viral video makes chillingly clear, a nine-year-old boy is being held against his will in a cavernous concrete basement. Criminal psychologist Claudia Meinert (Martina Gedeck) makes inquiries, finding inconsistencies in his parents’ stories. Soon the trail leads to the boy’s school and 13-year-old Leon (Markus Krojer), an adopted bad seed of monstrous proportions whose link to, and interest in, the affected families is far from clear. When Leon’s needy, malicious classmate Mathilda (Antonia Lingemann) stumbles on new information, the stakes are raised enormously. Bastard is a supremely confident and profoundly disconcerting feature film debut by 33-year-old Carsten Unger, who has made a confrontational, thought-provoking thriller in the vein of Roman Polanski and Michael Haneke that deservedly won recognition at the Hof festival for Lars Petersen’s glacially beautiful widescreen cinematography. — Eddie Cockrell
7TH & EYE NW
Join us AFTER the screening of BASTARD (9:15 – 11:15) for a wine and cheese reception (open bar – beer and soda also included) to mix and mingle with other film afficianados and fans of German culture! 21+ to Enter.
As a bonus, AFTER the screening of BASTARD (9:15 – 11:15) you will have the chance to mix it up with the DIRECTOR and PRODUCER of the film:
In 2007, CARSTEN UNGER graduated with his film Der Blaue Affe (The Blue Monkey), a co-production with the German TV channel HR. During his studies, he received a German scholarship to attend UCLA’s master class The Hollywood Perspective. In 2010, he shot his first feature film, Bastard, which was co-produced with the television channel SWR.
REZA BAHAR founded Maranto Films in Cologne in 2009. While working as executive producer on the 2010 international co-production Largo Winch 2, starring Sharon Stone, Bahar also produced the feature film Bastard with his companies Gifted Films and Maranto Films. Bastard opened the 45th Hof International Film Festival.
LANDMARK E ST
10TH & E NW
Germany, 2011, color, 92 mins., French, German and Dutch with English subtitles
Director/Screenplay: Ulrich Köhler Producers: Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade, Katrin Schlösser Cast: Jenny Schily, Hippolyte Girardot, Sava Lolov, Maria Elise Miller, Francis Noukiatchom, Ali Mvondo Roland, Isacar Yinkou, Jean-Christophe Folly, Pierre Bokma Sales: The Match Factory (Cologne)
In the onscreen world of 42-year-old writer-director Ulrich Köhler, characters act enigmatically: an AWOL soldier invites recapture (Bungalow, 2002), while a doctor leaves her husband and daughter for no apparent reason (Windows on Monday, 2006). In his ambitious and much-anticipated third film, Sleeping Sickness, Köhler ups the ante considerably by telling the provocative story of Dutch-born doctor Ebbo (Pierre Bokma), who is apparently so dedicated to his work combating the title disease in Africa that he refuses to accompany his loving wife and daughter back home to Europe. Years later, Parisian-born Congolese physician Alex (Jean-Christopher Folly) discovers Ebbo in Cameroon, where the mens’ differences become apparent. Bold in structure and unerring in execution, the film, which won Köhler the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, resonates with thought-provoking open-endedness.—Eddie Cockrell
SLEEPING SICKNESS 9:15