Friday, October 28, 2011

Monsters and Critics

So, about the movies at the German Currents; I saw two, so far, and I found them both pretty impressive.

The first one was Almanya — Welcome to Germany, a comedy, and one of the highest grossing in Germany. It is written and directed by two women, Nesrin Samdereli and Yasemin Samdereli. The movie is about a Turkish migrant family, their family, and how they became Germans — mostly. The story starts out with the family patriarch claiming that he has bought a house in Turkey, and that he wants everybody to go there for the summer. Nobody is thrilled, but Cenk, his six-year-old grandson, now hears the story of his family for the first time. The movie is very heart-warming and it has hilarious moments; for instance, when the children first see a dachshound, or Jesus on a cross. It should speak to Americans, too, because many issues with the Hispanic community here are the same.

The second movie was The Poll Diaries,  an gripping story that takes place in the Baltics on the eve of World War I. At the center of the movie is 14-year-old Oda, an extraordinary girl who later becomes a famous poet; she was related to Chris Kraus, who wrote and directed the movie. Oda, who moves from Berlin to her excentric, strict, and religious father and his second wife after her mother dies (whom she is carrying with her in a coffin, together with a two-headed fetus), encounters a wounded anarchist who has fled from the Tzarist army. It is a very touching movie; and I won't give any details away.

Sadly, none of these movies has found an American distributor yet, but I hope this will happen eventually. It is wonderful to see human stories on screen.

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