Back for Good – Mia Spengler’s graduation film to Open Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The first seven films have now been invited to participate in Perspektive Deutsches Kino’s programme in 2017: to date, four full-length graduation films and three 30-minute ones. “More so than ever it’s worth going to the Perspektive’s opening film and then making yourself comfortable in Berlinale cinemas for the subsequent nine days. Coming and staying guarantees you’ll feel lucky ten times over,” section head Linda Söffker says in anticipation of these ten fiery days in icy February.

Mia Spengler’s graduation film, Back for Good (prod: Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion, co-prod: Filmakademie Ludwigsburg) will open the Perspektive with the story of Angie, a former trash-TV starlet (Kim Riedle), her despised mother (Juliane Köhler), and her pubescent sister (Leonie Wesselow). By returning to the hick town of her childhood, Angie wreaks havoc on their relationships, so that all three have to redefine their roles in life. Back for Good is an ode to humanity – softly hummed while an auto-tuned pop song blares from the radio.

Angie (Kim Riedle) in Back for Good by Mia Spengler (Photo credit: @Zum Goldenen Lamm)

The fiction film Ein Weg (Paths, dir: Chris Miera, co-prod: Miera Film, Hildebrandt Film) was made while studying at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf and is the cautious exploration of a long love relationship that ends in separation. Over 15 years, as son Max gradually grows up, we accompany Andreas (Mike Hoffmann) and Martin (Mathis Reinhardt) through the highs and lows in the daily life of a partnership. Shot like a documentary, with a small team and budget at real locations, Ein Weg develops with great intensity and flexibility – and through the process of editing finds its special form of telling a story over time.

Director Tian Dong grew up in China and attended the KHM in Cologne. He has now completed his studies with the documentary Eisenkopf (Ironhead), about a young soccer team skilled in Shaolin kung fu. Tian Dong visits its young members at their sports school, and talks to them about their everyday lives and dreams. In doing so he paints an unsettling picture of China’s political situation.

In Julian Radlmaier’s new film, Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes (Self-criticism of a Bourgeois Dog, prod: Faktura Film, co-prod: dffb), a bourgeois dog confesses how he has gone through multiple transformations, from a love-struck filmmaker, to an apple picker, a traitor of the revolution, and, last but not least, a four-legged creature. In a political comedy full of burlesque escapades, we meet Camille, a young Canadian (Deragh Campbell); Hong and Sancho, a pair of proletarians who believe in miracles; a mute monk with magical powers; and a bunch of strange field labourers who indulge in idealistic visions.

All three of the medium-long works contemplate Europe and its future in quite similar yet different ways. What would happen if one day people in Europe had to flee, director Felicitas Sonvilla asks in her poetic science fiction film, Tara (prod: MOTEL Film Kollektiv; co-prod: HFF Munich). A young woman called Mira (Sasha Davydova) tells of her flight from Paris. In search of a different life she takes a train heading east to the utopianesque town of Tara. Kontener (Container) was the first medium-long fiction film that Sebastian Lang made at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. In it he portrays “two Polish ladies” who work at a dairy in Brandenburg. From the perspective of Maryna (Joanna Drozda), who narrates the story, the film depicts the last night before Tava (Anka Graczyk) disappears. The third film, titled Mikel, is about a young refugee who has left Nigeria for Berlin in search of a decent life with a properly paid job. It is the first medium-long film by Cavo Kernich, who with this work has completed his studies in “narrative film” under Thomas Arslan at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.

The entire Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme will be announced in January.

The following films have been invited so far:

Back for Good
By Mia Spengler
With Kim Riedle, Juliane Köhler, Leonie Wesselow
Feature film
World premiere

Eisenkopf (Ironhead)
By Tian Dong
Documentary film
World premiere

Kontener (Container)
By Sebastian Lang
With Joanna Drozda, Anka Graczyk
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

Mikel
By Cavo Kernich
With Jonathan Aikins
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes (Self-criticism of a Bourgeois Dog)
By Julian Radlmaier
With Julian Radlmaier, Deragh Campbell, Beniamin Forti, Kyung-Taek Lie, Ilia Korkashvili
Feature film
German premiere

Tara
By Felicitas Sonvilla
With Sasha Davydova, Leo van Kann, Lena Lauzemis
Medium-long feature film
World premiere

Ein Weg (Paths)
By Chris Miera
With Mike Hoffmann, Mathis Reinhardt
Feature film
World premiere

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(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

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