• Meta

  • « | Home | »

    KINO! 2007 – New Films from Germany at MoMA

    By Tanja Meding | July 3, 2008

    Once again, from 1-14 November 2007, the Museum of Modern Art drew crowds to the retrospective KINO! 2007: New Films from Germany. As in previous years, Larry Kardish, senior curator at MoMA, presented a balanced program that offered an overview of German productions from the last year in the field of shorts, documentaries, and features by emerging and established filmmakers.

    The retro opened with Am Ende kommen Touristen (Along Came Tourists), Robert Thalheim’s impressive and unpretentious film about a young German working his civil service at the Auschwitz camp site. A strong followup to Thalheim’s Netto (2004), Along Came Tourists received a very warm reception from the Manhattan audience.

    Three more films were also hits.

    Igor Heitzmann’s Nach der Musik (A Father’s Music), a tender documentary about a father-son relationship, is also about art, aging, and the divided city of Berlin. Igor Heitzmann is the son of Austrian conductor Otmar Suitner, who performed with the Dresden and East Berlin State Operas until 1990, when the onset of his Parkinson’s disease forced him to abandon his passion and profession. Over the years, Suitner had led separate lives with two wives – one in East Berlin, the other in West Berlin – with Igor Heitzmann, his only child, born in West Berlin. Very sensitively, the director interviews his parents and his father’s first wife about their very special relationships. More importantly, the son persuades his father to conduct the Berlin State Opera one more time. So we, the audience, are offered an insight into the passion Otmar Suitner has for his art.

    Birgit Möller presents in her debut feature Valerie a tragic tale about life in the big city. At year’s end, during the Christmas holidays, fashion-model Valerie Adamczyk has nowhere to go. With her credit cards empty, all she has left is her car and a couple suitcases full of clothes. We follow her through a cold wintery Berlin as she tries to put her life back on track, a variation on the theme of beautiful young women looking for love. Agata Buzek, a haunting beauty with an enigmatic screen presence, gives a touching performance – an actress one would like to see more of.

    In Maria Speth’s Madonnen (Madonnas) yet another lost female character yearns to be taken care of. Rita (Sandra Hüller), a young mother with five children, all from different men, is incapable of caring for herself, let alone her offspring. We see her struggling to hold her family together, only to abandon her children once more, leaving them in the care of her mother, Isabella (Susanne Lothar). As Speth never explores Rita’s relationship with her mother, we are left to wonder whether her inability to love and care for her children is based in her own upbringing. And we are left to worry that Rita’s oldest daughter, Fanny (Luisa Sappel) will follow in her footsteps. A serious and thought-provoking film with powerful performances by Sandra Hüller, Susanne Lothar, and Luisa Sappelt.

    After this strong lineup in 2007, we’re looking forward to KINO! 2008: New Films From Germany at MoMA.

    –Tanja Meding

    Topics: German Film | Comments Off on KINO! 2007 – New Films from Germany at MoMA

    Comments are closed.