At the beginning of the 19th century, Sarah Baartman (Yahima Torres) follows her employer Hendrick Cesar (Andre Jacobs) from South Africa to the UK. She hopes for a better life there, instead Cesar exhibits her as a carnival attraction: a “savage” black woman with a big butt. When they meet bear tamer Réaux (Olivier Gourmet), he poshes them to go to the next level of the show, despite the troubles they already encountered in the UK.
The story of Sarah Baartman is a horrifying example of colonialism and racism and everything that is wrong with white people. Unfortunately, the film is an exercise in sensationalism and does neither Baartman nor her story justice.
Maria (Lisa Martinek) and Paul Hofer (Bernhard Schir) have a great life – and a wonderful daughter in Nadja (Nikola Rudle). But shortly after Nadja’s sixteenth birthday, trouble arrives in the form of Nadja’s boyfriend Robi (Christopher Schärf). He is older and obviously from a social background that is nowhere near the Hofer’s lifestyle. But worst of all: Robi takes drugs – and he starts to drag Nadja into his addiction, despite her parents’ desperate attempts to keep her safe.
Meine Tochter nicht comes with a strong cast and hits some notes very accurately, but unfortunately loses almost all points in its resolution of the story and its moralizing tone.
Many years ago Prospera (Helen Mirren) was betrayed by her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper). He sent her and her daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) off on a ship so that they may die, but they managed to survive and have been stranded on an island ever since. They are almost the only inhabitants of the island, apart from Caliban (Djimon Hounsou), the spiteful son of the former island ruler, and the sprite Ariel (Ben Whishaw) who both have been enslaved by Prospera’s magic. Their existence is severely disrupted though when a ship sinks just off the island – a ship carrying not only Alonso the King of Naples (David Strathairn), his brother Sebastian (Alan Cumming) and his son Ferdinand (Reeve Carney), but also Antonio. Prospera knows that her time has come at last.
The Tempest is a visually impressive film with a great cast, but it never quite takes off – there are simply too many things that don’t work.
Lea (Anna Rot) and Hanna (Magdalena Kronschläger) have been best friends for a long time. So when Lea comes up with the plan that they could both work as escorts to get some easy money while they study, it’s clear that they can only do it together and that nobody around them will know. Hanna is more reluctant but the two of them start working anyway. It turns out to be quite an adventure, at least initially.
Tag und Nacht is one of many films where young women decide to try sex work and then discover that it might not be all that great, at least in a society that has such an ambivalent relationship with sex work as ours. While the film is well-executed, it felt too familiar for its own good.
Hanna (Sophie Rois) and Simon (Sebastian Schipper) have been a couple for quite a while now and things are stagnating. It works but more because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t than because there’s a reason it should. When first Hanna, then Simon meet Adam (Devid Striesow) – separately from each other, they both sleep with him – also separately from each other. As both Hanna and Simon get more attached to Adam, their relationship with each other is more than being called into question.
I had actually forgotten that I had watched 3 before. It was only about 20 or 30 minutes into the film that I realized it and then I was pretty sure that I had at least never written about it, which was also wrong. I guess that’s already a pretty telling comment on the film itself. It’s far from bad, but somehow it just doesn’t really stick around.
Both Behind Jim Jarmusch and Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch are documentaries about the creative process of director Jim Jarmusch. Rinaldi followed Jarmusch during the shot of The Limits of Control and then again a couple of years later during the work on Only Lovers Left Alive, trying to grasp how Jarmusch gets to work.
Behind Jim Jarmusch was Rinaldi’s first documentary and you can see how much she learned, so that Travelling at Night with Jim Jarmusch becomes the much better film. But both are interesting to see, especially if you like Jim Jarmusch’s films as they give you a look into the creation of something special.
Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) just moved into a new house with their three kids. Their lives are quite normal, their marriage not perfect but mostly well. But then Renai starts to hear and see weird things in the house. After that their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma – one day he just doesn’t wake up anymore, for no apparent reason. And that’s when the bad things really start to happen.
Way back when I saw the film for the fist time, I was surprised by how much it scared me. Watching it a second time, I didn’t think that it would manage the feat again, but I was wrong. Oh boy, was I ever. Still getting goosebumps about it.
Michael (Michael Fuith) traveled all the way from Vienna to Berlin to surprise his ex-girlfriend Gabi (Anka Graczyk), to give back her key in person and maybe convince her that things don’t actually have to be over? How much of a bad idea this is becomes obvious, when he arrives just at the same time as a deadly virus that turns everybody who gets in touch with it into rage monsters. And Gabi isn’t even home. Trapped in Gabi’s apartment together with the handyman apprentice Harper (Theo Trebs), Michael has to figure out what to do next.
I had heard many good things about Rammbock, but unfortunately I was rather disappointed by it. I liked the setting and their version of the zombie lore, but I did not like or care for Michael. At all.
The Bang-Bang Club was a group of photographers in South Africa who chronicled the rebellion against apartheid in the townships. Most notably among them were Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach), and João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld). When Greg takes up the job as photographer, he is quickly noticed by the more established photographers, especially Kevin, because of his willingness to take risks, a quality all four of them share and that makes their work extraordinary. As they throw themselves into the documentation of the fights and the violence, they are not entirely unaffected by it though. And the question remains whether documentation alone is enough or whether more action isn’t needed after all.
The Bang Bang Club was okay, but in the end it doesn’t move past its being a movie about a few rather unlikeable white guys being reckless and inconsiderate. And there are too many of those already to be interesting anymore.
Dean (Christopher Thornton) used to be a successful DJ until an accident puts him in a wheelchair permanently. Now Dean is homeless, mostly depressed and it is made impossible for him to work. But then two things happen that change Dean’s life from one day to the next: One, Ariel (Juliette Lewis) asks Dean to work with her band, led by eccentric The Stain (Orlando Bloom), And two, after being introduced to the world of faith healing by Father Joe (Mark Ruffalo), Dean discover that he actually has the power to heal people – everyone but himself.
Sympathy for Delicious consists of many good parts, but it lacks a bit of adhesive between those parts. Nevertheless it is a very nice watch.