From Beyond Fest: “German Angst”

Last Friday, thanks to Beyond Fest we had the chance to attend to the screening of “German Angst” a German anthology film with tales of violence, sex, love and death (with no order in particular) set on the modern day Berlin.

Like most anthology films, there were segments that I thought were better than others, but without falling into the spoiler territory, I’ll do a quick recap of the stories:

In “The Final Girl” we see a young girl a little bit too fascinated with her Guinea Pig , and thru her analysis of the pet’s interaction with humans, we  get a glimpse of the girl’s dark side towards her own. This segment was directed by Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2, Schramm) While I found the pacing a little bit slow, there are enough bizarre moments to make some people squirm and make them uneasy.

GA 2On “Make a Wish” we meet a young couple that happen to be deaf-mute being tortured by some neo-nazi thugs , who have no trouble expressing their disdain for those that they consider inferiors. After several minutes of torture, an opportunity to turn the tables seems to appear for the couple, but after being put thru some much abuse,  Would you show mercy to the ones that tortured you? This segment was the hardest to digest, especially for the extended sequences of violence (Which caused several walk outs from the audience) and while we can say that some of the torture happens off-screen, I believe the story went a little bit too long with it. In some bizarre way I would compare this with an episode of “The Twilight Zone” done with today’s brutality and disillusions. This segment was directed by Michal Kosakowski .

GA 1The final segment (and the one I liked the most) was “Alraune”, in this story we meet Eden, a fashion photographer, that after an unexpected break up, tries to seek comfort on the jungles of the internet. After trying to meet “in the flesh” with one of his internet lovers, Eden ends up entering a mysterious club where they indulge in the pleasures of the flesh by smoking a drug based on the mandrake root. This is more like a cautionary tale about obsessions, but is done very well with undertones of erotica and horror with good pacing, an interesting mythology and an ending that works perfectly. This segment was directed by Andreas Marschall (Masks, Tears Of Kali).

This film is not for everyone, there are very powerful scenes of violence, some more graphic than others (Like I said, several persons left the room in the middle of the screening ). In the case of “Final Girl”  and “Make A Wish” the endings are a little bit too ambiguous and leaves to the viewer the task to make sense of what was really going on. That alone is not bad, but it would have work better if their stories hadn’t dragged for so long, so we could avoid that “All that for this?” feeling at the end. There is a monologue in the final moments of “Make a Wish” than could piss off some hard core PC BS supporters, but given the chance to be reflected with a cold mind, the speech sort of makes sense, that is not saying that I agree, but talks a little bit of generational guilt, and is worth mentioning.  As you might guess, there will be some nudity on this film, but honestly I think that will be the least of your concerns.

If anything, I’d say “German Angst” is worth a watch, or several, based on the third segment alone, all of them are very well shot and it’s great to see films that go outside of what is typically shown on the theaters. Also I got to admit that nothing on the film felt that it was there just for shock value, all the elements that might make you uneasy are there for a reason and serve a purpose in the story. Is understandable that this will be a film that will divide the audience, but even then, it can be a piece of conversation to those interested in discussing the way each segment ended and their messages.

In the cast we see Lola Gave, Axel Holst, Annika Strauss, Andrea Pape, Matthan Harris, Daniel Faust, Milton Welsh, Désirée Giorgetti,
Kristina Kostiv, Rüdiger Kuhlbrodt, Martina Schöne-Radunski and Denis Lyons

Before the screening of “German Angst” we had the chance to see the short film “Deathly”  directed by Mike Williamson. In that story we see a man that after the tragic death of his wife, goes back to his house to discover that he is not alone. … I know that the synopsis sounds too generic, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you, the short has great atmosphere, good pacing and very good makeup effects , so I recommend you to check it out if you have the chance.

 


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