NEVER LOOK AWAY
WERK OHNE AUTOR
2018, Sony Pictures Classics, 188 min, Dir: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

“I wanted to explore human creativity and how it can be that some people take traumatic events of their lives and turn it into beautiful art,” said writer-director Henckel von Donnersmarck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS) of this portrait of an artist inspired by painter Gerhard Richter. Spanning three eras of German history, NEVER LOOK AWAY tells the story of young art student Kurt (Tom Schilling), who falls in love with fellow student Ellie (Paula Beer). Ellie's father, Professor Seeband (Sebastian Koch), a famous doctor, is dismayed at his daughter's choice of boyfriend and vows to destroy the relationship. What neither of them knows is that their lives are already connected through a terrible crime Seeband committed decades ago. Befitting its artistic theme, Caleb Deschanel’s cinematography and Max Richter’s score provide a rich burnish to the film.


WELCOME TO GERMANY
WILKOMMEN BEI DEN HARTMANNS
2016, 116 min, Germany, Dir: Simon Verhoeven

Taking a refreshingly optimistic stance on the refugee crisis, WELCOME TO GERMANY follows the travails of a wealthy Munich family that takes in a young Nigerian refugee. A box office success in Germany, this timely and insightful social comedy addresses the inherent difficulties that refugees face, particularly the racism that persists in German society, and was named Best Film at both the Bambi Awards and the Bavarian Film Awards


WHO AM I – NO SYSTEM IS SAFE
WHO AM I – KEIN SYSTEM IST SICHER
2014, 110 min, Germany, Dir: Baran bo Odar

Young Berlin computer whiz Ben (Tom Schilling) feels more at home in the virtual world than he does in the real one. When the charismatic and revolutionary hacker Max (Elyas M’Barek) asks Ben to put his skills to use and “hack the world,” they form the collective “CLAY” (Clowns Laughing at You). Instead of lofty political goals, the group shocks the world with humor and guerrilla-style pranks. As the team’s popularity drives them to take bigger, bolder risks, they soon attract the attention of the German Secret Service. Just as Ben begins to feel as if he finally belongs somewhere, he’s forced to figure out how to escape not only from law enforcement but from his dangerous new friends. This stylish, surprising and exceptionally timely cyber-thriller moves seamlessly between the real and the virtual, leaving the audience guessing long after the film is over. In German with English subtitles.


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