Preview: German Film Festival 2019
"Festivals create spaces to meet up and build communities. One can meet people with the same cultural background or others who share similar interests."
Perthians will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of German Culture when the German Film Festival takes residence at Palace Cinema from May 28.
Highly anticipated thriller Balloon will kick off the two-week long celebration of the best new films hailing from Deutschland, ranging from feel-good comedies (25km/h), to political thrillers (Blame Game) and star-studded musicals (Mack The Knife – Brecht’s Threepenny Film).
Kids are also top-of-mind at the event, with the Kino For Kids sidebar comprising of six film selections the little ones will love.
The festival will also commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, with the first program strand "Tear Down The Walls" showcasing films which present new perspectives on the German Democratic Republic.
Festival curator Bettina Kinski said the festival would allow patrons the opportunity to either "reconnect with their roots" or to "see and learn about far away realities".
"The festival is a chance to learn about German history and culture, and even German humour. It raises topics that move and concern people in Germany, and world-wide," she said.
"Festivals create spaces to meet up and build communities. One can meet people with the same cultural background or others who share similar interests.
"It makes it easier to relate to each other, to get in touch with each other. Also, it creates room for the expression of cultural identity."
Born in the GDR just years before the Berlin Wall was torn down, Bettina said she always felt the urge to explore the world - be it through travel or film.
"Perhaps it was inherent or my education influenced me, but I have found that when you’re born into a restricted country, you are eager to see what’s outside the border."
Since, Bettina has worked extensively in the film industry before landing her role with the German Film Festival.
Bettina admitted she most anticipated the opening night screening of Balloon by director Michael “Bully” Herbig.
"The film is based on real events and tells the spectacular story of two East German families who escaped to the West during the Cold War in a hand-made hot air balloon; maybe the most daring escape of its kind back then, before the Wall came down," she said.
"I’m inquisitive and excited to see people’s reactions to the film and am looking forward to conversations afterwards at the party, and maybe I will hear even more stories.”
If you are feeling indecisive while browsing the sizeable program, Bettina's top five picks are:
1. The Captain – "Hollywood meets arthouse!"
2. Gundermann – "Big winner of the German Film Awards 2019 this biopic is a must-see."
3. Styx – "Watching Susanne Wolff, winner of Best Actress at the German Film Awards 2019, is simply absorbing."
4. 25km/h – "Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel will have you roll in the aisles with laughter."
5. The Innocent – "A think-piece that leaves you to ponder long after the curtain goes down."
The festival will screen at Palace Cinemas from May 28 - June 12, with tickets available here.