MADEMOISELLE PARADIS
LICHT
2017, 97 min, Austria, Dir: Barbara Albert

Set in 18th-century Vienna, this fresh feminist satire turns its eye on a blind pianist, the largely solipsistic men trying to exploit her talents and the controversial physician, Dr. Franz Mesmer, trying to restore her sight. Anchored by an incredible performance from Maria Dragus (THE WHITE RIBBON) and elegant and subtle direction from Barbara Albert, PARADIS is a prescient and sumptuous film that challenges our ideals of healing and perception at every turn. Winner of five Austrian Film Awards, including Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.


AGE OF CANNIBALS
ZEIT DER KANNIBALEN
2013, 93 min, Germany, Dir: Johannes Naber

While advising companies on how to maximize profits, cutthroat business consultants Öllers and Niederländer insulate themselves from the dangerous locations where they do business by hunkering down in their various 5-star hotels. When the newly hired Bianca is sent to assist in negotiations, her constant critique of her colleagues’ unscrupulous behavior is unsettling to the executives, who pride themselves on their ability to remain emotionally disconnected. The protagonists reach grotesque extremes within the walls of their hotel, giving Stefan Weigl’s screenplay the feel of a chamber play that’s both darkly comedic and a stinging indictment of contemporary global economics. In German and English with English subtitles.


WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG.
WIR SIND JUNG. WIR SIND STARK.
2014, 116 min, Germany, Dir: Burhan Qurbani

Three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, anti-immigrant attacks targeting a refugee shelter on the outskirts of the former East German city of Rostock culminated in the notorious “Night of Fire.” Following three days of violence, nearly 3,000 rioters, neo-Nazis and bystanders set fire to the shelter, trapping Vietnamese refugees and a group of journalists inside. Qurbani’s controversial film recounts the hours leading up to the evening’s startling events as experienced by three very different characters: Lien, a Vietnamese immigrant; Stefan, an insecure young rioter; and Stefan’s father Martin, an ambitious local politician. Qurbani meticulously re-creates the look and feel of the era, when many East German cities struggled with unemployment and feelings of isolation from the West, exposing the complex issue of xenophobia in a country thought to have been healed by German reunification. In German with English subtitles.


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