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.


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.


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