Our annual selection of Achtung films (with English subs) returns Apr 13-15 to Lichtblick Kino, with the double-feature brunch including scrumptious scones from SPRO Bakery and delicious coffee from Flying Roasters on April 14.
Keen to catch up with the best new homegrown cinema at the current Achtung Berlin film festival, but don’t have the inclination to sift through the entire line-up, or the language skills to take part in a German post-screening Q&A? Then join us at Lichtblick Kino this weekend for a handful of festival highlights, all with English subtitles and moderation, and all with filmmakers in attendance (and the customary free glass of wine after the evening screenings). Presented by Exberliner, the English Days programme kicks off this Saturday (Apr 13) at 18:00 with Luzie Loose’s Swimming (photo), which won the Gold Prize for best directorial debut at last year’s Hof International Film Festival. It’s a slick, timely teen movie about a pair of school misfits whose intense friendship has destructive consequence.
Another festival standout is Datsche (Apr 15, 20:30), in which a Potsdam allotment becomes a microcosm of modern Berlin. Here, over the course of an idyllic summer, an earnest American, a vulnerable Ethiopian refugee, an inane Argentinian hippie and other colourful characters stand off against a bunch of tradition-fixated older Germans. Equal parts understated immigration drama, broad knockabout comedy and low-key suspense thriller, it’s an extremely promising first feature for director Lara Hewitt.
Let the Bell Ring is a slick, immersive portrait of California’s amateur boxing scene. Protagonist Malcolm McAllister is effortlessly charismatic, despite a chequered past. And director Christin Freitag proves herself a sensitive filmmaker with a flair for human drama and visceral spectacle. This sumptuously cinematic doc screens on Sunday (Apr 14) as part of a matinee double-bill with Carlos A. Morelli’s Many Happy Returns (Der Geburtstag), an inventive blend of offbeat family drama and stylish neo-noir. The screenings start at 11:30am, topped off with a free brunch served in between, including scones from SPRO Bakery and coffee from Flying Roasters.
And rounding out the programme is Anatol Schuster’s Frau Stern (Apr 13, 20:30), a sensitive drama about a larger-than-life 90-year-old Jewish woman who decides it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil.