Lost souls and mysteries
Up against seven US productions and one Japanese title, European films hold their own this week with the release of a small handful of quality titles, including Yella [+see also:
film profile], which won Nina Hoss (see interview) a Silver Bear for Best Actress at this year’s Berlinale.
Yella is the last in Christian Petzold’s trilogy on lost souls, which began with Wolfsburg and continued with Ghosts. Its main character is about to leave East Germany for the West, but an accident plunges everything into obscurity, not only in the East and West, but especially the real and the imaginary, through a network of visual and audio signals, which call to mind, albeit in a different genre, the light-heartedness of a film like Belle de jour. Yella, also starring Devid Striesow, is on release through Piffl.
Two other German titles arrive on screen today. Mekk-Movie is releasing Tödliche Verbindungen (“Deadly Connections”), a 1970s style thriller directed by Markus Kleinhans and Edgar Kraus. Commissioner Degenhardt (Adnan Erten) is investigating the mysterious death by poisoning of an unmarried saleswoman. To make matters worse, the partner who he has to work with (musician Luky Zappatta) seduces a witness.
Investigation is also the order of the day in Farbfilm’s Paulas Geheimnis, a children’s film in which Gernot Krää embarrasses central character Paula by stealing her diary.
Salzgeber adds an Austrian/German co-production, Ulrike Ottinger’s documentary Prater, to this week’s list of new releases. In the same register, Ventura is distributing British title Sisters in Law, a film about a plea for justice in a patriarchal Cameroon from Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisi.
Lastly, Spain is represented by the beautifully-made Salvador [+see also:
film profile], directed by Manuel Huerga (see interview) and co-produced by the UK. The film recounts the tragic destiny of Salvador Puig Antich, an anarchist executed in 1974 by the Franco regime. The film stars German actor Daniel Brühl, who won a Goya earlier this year and was selected at Cannes and the EFA in 2006. Salvador is distributed by MFA.
(Translated from French)
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