GUNDERMANN
2019, Pandora Filmproduktion, 128 min, Germany, Dir: Andreas Dresen

With six wins at the prestigious German Film Awards, including Outstanding Feature, Best Direction and Best Performance by a lead actor, GUNDERMANN is a thoughtful biopic about the celebrated East German folk singer-songwriter. A man of wildly conflicting interests in music, blue-collar work and the politics of the GDR, Gerhard Gundermann (Alexander Scheer) mirrors an equally tumultuous East German regime in the 1970s. With a documentary-like style, director Andreas Dresen examines his main character impartially, giving equal attention to moments of beautiful musical inspiration and reprehensible acts of betrayal.


A HEAVY HEART
HERBERT
2015, 109 min, Germany, Dir: Thomas Stuber

Former East German boxing champion Herbert Stamm (Peter Kurth) is an abrasive, tattooed heavyweight now scraping by as a bouncer and debt collector for a local gangster. After he suddenly collapses and is diagnosed with ALS, Herbert realizes his time is limited. Longing to correct his past mistakes, Herbert reaches out to his estranged daughter (Lena Lauzemis), now a mother herself. This reversal of the classic up-and-coming boxer narrative is elevated by Kurth’s powerful portrayal of aggression and vulnerability, as well as cinematographer Peter Matjasko’s gritty depiction of Leipzig’s underbelly. In German with English subtitles.


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