Terror – Ihr Urteil [The Verdict] (2016)

Terror – Ihr Urteil
Director: Lars Kraume
Writer: Oliver Berben, Lars Kraume
Based on: Ferdinand von Schirach‘s play
Cast: Burghart Klaußner, Martina Gedeck, Florian David Fitz, Lars Eidinger, Jördis Triebel, Rainer Bock
Seen on: 22.11.2017

Soldier Lars Koch (Florian David Fitz) is on trial. He shot down a civilian plane that was abducted by terrorists who threatened to fly it into the next city which would have raised the death toll considerably. So Koch didn’t wait for orders, he decided on his own to shoot down the plane. Now the judge (Burghart Klaußner) and his jury have to decide whether Koch’s actions were justified. As Koch’s defendant (Lars Eidinger) and the district attorney (Martina Gedeck) make their cases, big philosophical questions arise.

Terror – Ihr Urteil was made for an audience that gets to play the part of the jury. So the people watching the film get to vote in the end whether Koch should be found guilty or innocent. Two endings were shot for the film and depending on the voting results, one of them is screened. I saw the film as part of a scientific conference that couched the film in a lot of interesting discussions (and was able to screen both endings). That conference also made it even clearer that Terror – Ihr Urteil is expertly made bullshit.

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Wir töten Stella [Killing Stella] (2017)

Wir töten Stella
Director: Julian Pölsler
Writer: Julian Pölsler
Based on: Marlen Haushofer‘s novella
Cast: Martina GedeckMatthias BrandtMala EmdeKatja BellinghausenJulius Hagg
Seen on: 16.10.2017

Anna (Martina Gedeck) has the perfect family: she’s married to successful lawyer Richard (Matthias Brandt), they have a teenage son, Wolfgang (Julius Hagg), a beautiful home and more than enough money. So when their friend asks them to take in the 19-year-old Stella (Mala Emde), a beautiful but unrefined and withdrawn young woman, Anna accepts and gives Stella a bit of a make-over. But Stella’s presence disturbs the carefully cultivated family appearance.

Wir töten Stella is a strong, incredibly sad and very critical film. It’s beautifully made and despite a couple of lengths, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

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Deine besten Jahre [Your Best Years] (1999)

Deine besten Jahre
Director: Dominik Graf
Writer: Markus Busch, Bernd Schwamm
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Tobias Moretti, Tim Bergmann, Carla Hagen, Wolfgang Hinze, Mona Seefried, Marian LöschBirge Schade, Monika Woytowicz
Seen on: 20.4.2016

Vera (Martina Gedeck) seems to lead a perfect life: she’s the heiress of a successful company that is run by her husband Manfred (Tobias Moretti) who is devoted to her and their son Max (Marian Löschl). Then Vera starts to discover a first crack in the facade: Manfred seems to be having an affair. In an attempt to save their relationship, she whisks him away on an impromptu holiday. But very quickly Vera finds her life crumbling around her entirely and the only one who seems to be always there for her is former company employee Andreas (Tim Bergmann).

Deine besten Jahre is a strange film, made even more unusual because it’s a TV production. What starts as a normal family drama takes some surprising and sometimes downright experimental turns leading to a fascinating film that takes a while to settle.

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The Girl King (2015)

The Girl King
Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Writer: Michel Marc Bouchard
Cast: Malin Buska, Sarah Gadon, Michael Nyqvist, Lucas Bryant, Laura Birn, Hippolyte Girardot, Peter Lohmeyer, François Arnaud, Patrick Bauchau, Ville Virtanen, Martina Gedeck
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 26.2.2016

Kristina (Malin Buska) becomes the ruler of Sweden at a young age. Her mother (Martina Gedeck) is of little help and Kristina is educated profoundly by Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna (Michael Nyqvist) to rule – as King, not as Queen. When Kristina comes of age, it’s him who raises the question of marriage and hopes that Kristina will choose his son Johan (Lucas Bryant). But Kristina is neither interested in marriage, nor in men. The only person who holds her fascination outside of the intellect is Ebba (Sarah Gadon) who she names her lady-in-waiting and with whom she grows ever closer.

The Girl King tells a fascinating story of a fascinating woman and it does so quite well. It’s not an amazingly great film, but it’s definitely good with the cast being a particular stand-out.

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Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

Night Train to Lisbon
Director: Bille August
Writer: Greg Latter, Ulrich Herrmann
Based on: Pascal Mercier‘s novel Nachtzug nach Lissabon
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Lena Olin, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling

Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is a teacher who leads a rather lonely life. But it takes a sudden turn, when he keeps a young woman from comitting suicide who leaves her coat with him. Inside that coat he finds a book and train tickets to Lisbon. The book resonates with him, so on a whim he boards the train to find the author of the book. But instead of finding the author, he finds a whole story of love and betrayal during António de Oliveira Salazar‘s dictatorship.

There is only word I can use to describe Night Train to Lisbon: boring. It was so boring, I fell asleep for half an hour during the film. And despite cutting the movie short that way, it was still way too long.


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Die Wand [The Wall] (2012)

Die Wand
Director: Julian Pölsler
Writer: Julian Pölsler
Based on: Marlen Haushofer’s novel
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrike Beimpold, Karlheinz Hackl

A woman (Martina Gedeck) travels to a hunting lodge with her cousin Luise (Ulrike Beimpold) and her cousin’s husband Hugo (Karlheinz Hackl). They plan to spend a nice weekend there. But on the first evening, Luise and Hugo head into town. When they aren’t back the next day, the woman heads out to see where they have gotten to. But before she gets into town, she hits an invisible wall that seems to surround her. Seeing no life on the other side of the wall, she believes that it is the result of some chemical warfare and starts to wait for the victors to find her. As time passes and nobody shows up, she begins to make a life for herself, all alone at the cabin apart from a dog, a cat and a cow.

Die Wand is an excellent adaptation of the book – and it’s no easy book to make a movie of. Though, as usual with book adaptations, there were a few difficulties that kept it from being perfect, I thought it was really a very good film.

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Jud Süß – Film ohne Gewissen [Jew Suss: Rise and Fall] (2010)

Jud Süß is the newest movie by Oskar Roehler, starring Tobias Moretti, Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck and Justus von Dohnanyi.

1940. Ferdinand Marian (Tobias Moretti) is a mildly successful actor in Berlin. When Joseph Goebbels (Moritz Bleibtreu) sees him as Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello, he decides that Marian would make the perfect leading man in his upcoming propaganda movie Jud Süß. Even more than that: directed by Veit Harlan, the movie is supposed to be art, propaganda without being propaganda. Marian is hesitant to accept the role since his wife (Martina Gedeck) is half-Jewish and he’s hiding a Jewish friend in their garden shed. But Goebbels won’t take no for an answer.

Jud Süß wants to be scandalous and all it got so far were pretty bad reviews. It’s not a great movie, but it’s not as bad as most of these reviews want you to believe. It does have some interesting passages and if you put the surrounding scandal out of your head, you will enjoy the film.

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