Today marks the final day of the weeklong German Film Week in Manila organized by Goethe-Institut Philippinen. The carefully selected lineup of contemporary German movies, many of which are already receiving numerous awards in international film festivals, drew a good crowd of cinephiles at special screenings at SM Mall of Asia and SM City North Edsa’s cinemas.
Offering a diverse selection of films for audiences, with the goal of promoting German language and culture, Goethe director and head of cultural programs Ulrich Nowak said at the festival’s opening, “We are truly excited to unveil this year’s film and new voices to Philippine audiences. Whether mainstream, romantic comedies, or micro-budget indies, we made sure our festival attendees will be entertained and pleased.”
The German Film Week moves from Manila to SM City Clark from October 8 to 12; SM City Cebu from October 14 to 18; and SM City Davao from October 20 to 24.
The festival screens 12 films that tackles issues of family, romance, journey, society, terrorism, German history and more.
The opening film “My Brother Simple / Simpel” directed by Markus Goller, a film based on French bestseller about two brothers – one mentally handicapped – who try to find their long-lost father. Other family related films include the Toni Erdmann-directed by “Maren Ade,” which follows the story of Winfried and his career woman daughter Ines; and Daniel Levy’s “The World of Wunderlichs” about a single mother accompanied by her family on her casting journey.
There are also films about modern romance. Karoline Herfurth’s “You’ve Got a Message / SMS für Dich;” “The Bloom of Yesterday / Die Blumen von gestern” by director Chris Kraus, and “Return to Montauk” directed by Volker Schlöndorff re-lives a great but failed love affair.
The German Film Week also brings us to the world of punk rocker Fussel as he struggles between therapy and real life in “Happy Burnout;” and “Marija,” a young woman who fights to live a freer, self-determined life. Mark Rothemond’s “My Blind Date with Life,” on the other hand shows how Saliya Kahawatte loses his eyesight, yet succeeds in his career.
Finally, there are films ripped from the world headlines: Robert Thalheim’s “Old Agent Men / Kundschafter des Friedens,” and “Welcome to Germany / Willkommen bei den Hartmanns.”