The Dead Lands
The Dead Lands
The city’s fifth Down Under Berlin sees 40 Antipodean films from the glossy to the micro-indie play with the concept of “paradise unknown”, whether that be nirvana or inferno.
Handsome ensemble opener Elixir, an Aussie-German project helmed by Brodie Higgs, tracks the aimless fortunes of a discontented international Berlin art collective, loosely and moodily modelled on the French Surrealists.
More down-to-earth drama can be found in James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse, based on the true story of a bipolar chess champ coaching futureless kids to glory.
Those with a thirst for theatrical blood should try Oscar hopeful The Dead Lands, offering all-Maori dialogue and dialed-up Apocalypto-style gore, or hearty zombie schlockfest Wyrmwood.
On the documentary table, Andrew Pike’s Message from Mungo zeroes in on the fate of 40,000-year-old human remains removed from their lakebed resting place without local consultation. The meticulous unpicking of the conflict’s complexity deftly points up 20th-century Aboriginal struggles.
A much sweeter clash of cultures takes the stage in closing charmer Hip Hop-eration, where the titular troupe of unlikely street dancers, aging from 66 to 94, trade crochet for krumping with singular zeal. For full programme: www.downunderberlin.de.
DOWN UNDER BERLIN, Sep 16-20 | Kino Moviemento, Kottbusser Damm 22, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schönleinstr.