SISTERS APART
IM FEUER
2020, The Match Factory, 93 min, Germany/Greece, Dir: Daphne Charizani

In writer-director Daphne Charizani’s thoughtful drama, Kurdish immigrant Rojda (Almila Bagriacik), serving in the German army, attempts to keep her family together despite the separation caused by borders and military conflicts. After successfully negotiating her mother’s release from a camp for displaced Kurds and returning her to Germany, Rojda sets out to find her missing sister, who is somewhere in Iraq fighting in a Kurdish battalion of women soldiers. In her thinly veiled rescue mission, Rojda volunteers as an interpreter to support the women’s battalion, which leads her to dangerous and surprising encounters. Part of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino special selection at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.


RELATIVITY
MEIN ENDE. DEIN ANFANG
2019, 111 min, Germany, Dir: Mariko Minoguchi

In this moving feature debut by director Mariko Minoguchi, a new romance is upended by a tragic twist of fate when lovers Nora (Saskia Rosendahl) and Aron (Julius Feldmeier) find themselves in the middle of a bloody bank robbery. After the event, Nora meets Natan (Edin Hasanovic), who evokes in her an odd, yet appealing sense of déjà vu. As their paths continue to cross and the relationship deepens, Nora navigates a spiraling echo chamber of memories as the grief of the past continually resurfaces. Told through a unique narrative structure of flash backs and flash forwards, RELATIVITY is both a heartbreaking melodrama and a thoughtful study on the nature of time.


LARA
2019, Beta Cinema, 98 min, Germany, Dir: Jan-Ole Gerster

Director Jan-Ole Gerster (A COFFEE IN BERLIN) returns with this nuanced drama about a woman’s day-long excursion into a troubled past. On her 60th birthday, Lara (Corinna Harfouch) prepares for her son Viktor’s (Tom Schilling) all-important debut piano concert by spreading the word (and free tickets) all over town. Lara has every reason to be the proud mother, but a dark history prevents her from reconnecting with those from her past, especially with Viktor. With echoes of Michael Haneke’s THE PIANO TEACHER and mysteries that unravel with delicate precision, LARA is a fascinating character study with a surprising sense of warmth beneath its cold exterior. “There are powerful, profound moments in store for audiences here, mysteries to be resolved, and those […] for which we can never pretend to have a solution.” - Peter Debruge, Variety.


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