Taking its title from a line in the Hitler Youth song ‘The Rotten Bones Are Trembling’, And Tomorrow The Entire World (Und Morgen Die Ganze Welt) is an immersive and urgent drama that posits through its title alone that fascistic threats have always festered within society. It’s a coming-of-age story that asks the wider question: What is the best way – if there is one – to cure the cancer that ails us?
Writer-director Julia von Heinz’s film deals with current conflicts and focuses on Antifa groups via audience-surrogate Luisa (Mala Emde), a Mannheim-based first-year law student from a good German family. She breaks away from her privileged life and joins another family, an Antifa commune that protests in a non-violent way. However, rifts within the group widen when certain members call for more aggressive action to take on neo-Nazi hate groups, and Luisa finds herself torn between painted banners and explosives.
This drama shines when it observes how activism is organised, authentically portraying political activists’ seemingly never-ending battle and the conflicts that arise within communities. One scene shows a refreshing variety of perspectives, when a jaded former activist recognises his own youthful engagement in Generation Z’s fervour, bemoans how the fight remains the same, and states that if you don’t lean to the left before your thirties, you have no heart, and if you embrace those same convictions without questioning yourself after you’re thirty, you have no brain. Julia von Heinz seems primarily interested in how far people are willing to go for the sake of their political commitment, but also slyly comments on how the male contingent of the group is deeply flawed (a trait distilled within the swaggering, are-you-really-going-to-call-the-character-that? Alfa, who pushes for more violent confrontations) compared to the pure conviction of the female members.
Subtlety might not always be the film’s primary register but all in all, And Tomorrow The Entire World is a frequently gripping and well-paced drama that not only resonates in our current climate, but opens up a worthy discussion on different forms of activism and resistance.
And Tomorrow The Entire World (Und Morgen Die Ganze Welt) / Directed by Julia von Heinz (Germany 2020), with Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra, Tonio Schneider. Starts October 29.