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NEW RELEASES Germany

Hirschbiegel releases an out of 'ordinary' film

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As announced by the distributors to temper down the general dismay caused by the apparent loss of interest from the German public during 2005 —a trend largely blamed on the weakness of local production—, the new year is starting well for German cinema. Among this week's new releases, there are five German films (including two co-productions) of seven European productions and four American movies.

NFP launched the much-awaited Just an Ordinary Jew (o.t. Ein ganz gewöhnlicher Jude) by Oliver Hirschbiegel, a film not totally unrelated to Downfall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bernd Eichinger
interview: Joachim Fest
interview: Oliver Hirschbiegel
film profile
]
which nevertheless shows a strong contrast with this movie from a stylistic point of view. Indeed, this Multimedia Film und Fernsehproduktion project, adapted from a book by the Swiss writer Charles Lewinsky, is an intimate play focusing on one actor (the excellent Ben Becker) in the role of Emanuel Goldfarb, a Jewish journalist. As he writes a letter to refuse to describe his daily life as a Jewish citizen before a group of students, he starts an introspective journey into his antithetical double identity as a German citizen and a Jew. On the contrary, Hallesche Kometen, a drama directed by Susanne Irina Zacharias (which earned her an award in Babelsberg), produced by Flying Moon and distributed by Zauberland, is not about inner conflict but about the way reality destroys a young man's dreams of travelling, since the hero (Hanno Koffler) is forced to make ends meet and support his father, an unemployed widower. Travel is at the core of Alex Engstfeld's new documentary; in Minik (distr. MFA), the author/director/producer deals with a civilisation he loves through the tragicomic story of an Eskimo who, in 1897, was taken to New-York for research.

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The Austrian/German co-production Blackout Journey (distr. Farbfilm), debut-feature of TV producer Siegfried Kamml, is a road movie reuniting two brothers who have nothing in common, one is a musician in Berlin (Marek Harloff) and the other is a peasant in Austria (Arno Frisch). The other German co-production of the week, distributed by Stardust, is a children's movie by Maria Peters about the young Dutch hero Peter Bell.

The German public will also discover The Best Man (distr. 3L), a British comedy by Stefan Schwartz and Populärmusik från Vittula (distr. Piffl), a drama by the Iranian director Reza Bagher, co-produced in Sweden and Finland.

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(Translated from French)

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