LAYLA FOURIE
2013, The Match Factory, 105 min, Germany, Dir: Pia Marais

Winner of the Jury Special Mention at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, LAYLA FOURIE is a film about a single mother living with her son in Johannesburg and getting by with casual work. After training as a polygraph operator, she manages to secure a job with a company specialising in lie detectors and security. On her way to her new workplace, she is involved in an accident which will fundamentally change her life. Layla becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. The truth could lead to the loss of her son. For her third feature film, Pia Marais - who has lived in Berlin for many years - returned to South Africa where she grew up to make this classic thriller. She uses the genre to take a look at a country which still bears the scars of apartheid. In this way, everyday life in South Africa enhances the tension in the screenplay, which she co-wrote with Horst Markgraf. Almost casually, LAYLA FOURIE develops into a political thriller which takes the audience into the paranoia, fear and mistrust of a society that is still profoundly affected by racial conflict. In English.


IF NOT US, WHO?
WER WENN NICHT WIR
2011, Senator Film, 124 min, Germany, Dir: Andres Veiel

For fans of THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, this is a must-see. Chronicling the decadelong relationship (which produced son Felix) between radical-left poster girl Gudrun Ensslin (a terrific Lena Lauzemis) and writer Bernward Vesper (August Diehl), director Andres Veiel gets inside the mindset of a divided Berlin teeming with radical change. As the increasingly left-wing Vesper struggles with mixed feelings for his father, one of Hitler's favorite writers during the Nazi regime, and as Ensslin slowly but steadily transforms from a wide-eyed co-ed to a steely revolutionary, the incendiary couple's stormy personal life evolves in constantly unpredictable directions. Vesper is saddled with trying to honor his father's deathbed wish to have his writings favored by the fascists republished in a changed early 1960s Germany. Winner of both the Alfred Bauer Award and Prize of the Guild of German Arthouse Cinemas, and nominated for the Golden Bear, at the Berlin International Film Festival 2011. In German with English subtitles.


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