Four Unique and Topical movies, from four Diverse countries
‘WELCOME TO GERMANY’ (‘Willkommen bei den Hartmanns’), Germany
Directed by Simon Verhoeven
1 Hr. 56 mins
SATURDAY 9 JUNE, 4:00 PM
(With ENGLISH & THAI Sub-Titles)
We are happy that our Opening Film deals with a very topical subject – the refugee-situation in Europe.
The story is studded with a wide range of characters, events, issues, crises. But there are also many scenes of fun and comedy.
At the heart of the story, is the large Hartmann family, each of whom is going through a crisis. There is the successful doctor Richard who doesn’t want to age or retire, his idealistic wife Angelika who is drifting from her husband, their workaholic lawyer-son Philipp who neglects his son Basti, who consequently has many problems in school, their daughter Sofie who dislikes her study-courses and doesn’t know what she wants, until she meets the Arab-origin doctor Tarek Berger whom her father dislikes.
Into this dysfunctional family, enters a Nigerian refugee Diallo Makaburi, whom they offer their home to, and who slowly starts making a difference to all their lives. It is a big learning process for him too, as he is confused by many things in Germany.
But in the end, they know they can’t do much about ensuring him asylum in their country, thanks to wary neighbors, terrorist threats, suspicious police, right-wing activists. It is a moment of reckoning for all of them.
The film’s director stated that the refugee- situation was “Complex and complicated. But this confusion also is fertile ground for comedy!”
The story indeed, has many scenes of high comedy. But important issues are also discussed under the garb of comedy. The film has various levels to it, and is funny, moving, thought-provoking.
The movie, with a well-known cast, won the Audience Award at various festivals, and was a sensational ‘hit’ in Germany. It won many awards in Germany-the German Film Award LOLA, Jupiter Award for Best National Film, German Cinema Award for Peace.
The Guardian: ‘The country’s first refugee-themed comedy.’
The New Yorker: ‘Each character in the film seems to stand in for a different German response to the refugee crisis.’
The film event is supported by the Goethe-Institut and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, who will serve drinks and snacks, after the screening.
The Ambassador of Germany H.E. Peter Prügel, will introduce the film.
‘WALK WITH ME’ (‘De Standhaftige’), Denmark,
Directed by Lisa Ohlin
1 Hr. 45 mins
SATURDAY 16 JUNE, 4: 00 PM
(With ENGLISH Sub-Titles)
We are proud to screen a film from Denmark; whose cinema is internationally renowned.
This film is another topical story of today. It deals with the trauma-syndrome that many soldiers face when they return from war, and find that they have to fight the war from within themselves.
Thomas becomes injured in a mine explosion while deployed in Afghanistan, and returns home to rehabilitate. He is angry, bitter and desperate to get back on his feet, but it is a long process. He then meets Sophie, a ballet dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, whom he rejects at first, but who slowly resurrects his physical and mental strength.
The ballet scenes are a highlight of this engrossing film, and Thomas’ spirits are uplifted. Sophie’s dream is achieved when she is selected to dance in New York. She now has to make a tough decision between the rehabilitated soldier Thomas and her promising ballet career.
The movie created waves at many international film festivals, and was one of three movies nominated by the country for the Oscars in 2017.
Kulturbunkeren.dk (Danish); ‘ Different and accomplished romantic drama.’
Bulles de Culture (French): ‘A re-birth through love’.
The film event is supported by the Royal Danish Embassy, who will serve drinks and snacks, after the screening.
The Ambassador of Denmark HE Uffe Wolffhechel will introduce the film.
‘THE LAST REEL’, CAMBODIA,
Directed by Kulikar Sotho
1 Hr. 46 Mins
SATURDAY 23 JUNE, 4:00 PM
(With ENGLISH Sub-Titles)
We are excited to screen a much-talked-film from our neighboring country, Cambodia, whose cinema is currently attracting much attention.
This intense and thought-provoking movie by the country’s first woman film-maker, Kulikar Sotho, works on many levels, as it weaves the sordid past of Cambodia with the snazzy present, shows the re-creation of a film that had almost been destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, reiterates the themes of truth, reconciliation, resurrection, which are so important to the country.
These are themes that are also topical for many countries today.
The first and last scenes of the film portray the diverse urban and rural scenarios of Cambodia. But they also reveal the diverse ‘faces’ of the characters in the story, all of whom have been affected by the sordid history of the past. And so, even as the film centers around the young Sophoun, whose life undergoes drastic changes in the course of the film (especially the unexpected ending), her ‘mother’, and the ‘film-maker’ are significant characters, not just because of their roles in the film, but also because in actuality, they were the few film artistes who survived the Khmer Rouge’s genocide.
These are actress Dy Saveth and actor Sok Sothun. Infact, the former is considered the country’s greatest actress and a national icon. Her moving performance is one of the highlights of this riveting movie.
In many ways, the movie was autobiographical for the film-maker, whose father was killed by the Khmer Rouge, and the film was her own way to face truth and reconciliation.
“It’s crucial that we Cambodians unlock our painful past and find an inner strength, to share our stories with each other and the world beyond” she stated.
The film created waves in numerous film festivals around the world, from Asia to Europe and all across America. It won a spate of awards, including the prestigious Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival on its international debut. It was also Cambodia’s entry for the Oscars in 2015.
Variety: ‘The re-emergence of Cambodian cinema continues impressively with ‘The Last Reel’, a well-produced, thematically rich drama.’
Hollywood Reporter: ‘With ‘The Last Reel’, Cambodia’s resurgence as a film-making force, continues apace.’
Film Business Asia: ‘One of the most ambitious Cambodian films to be made in recent years.’
The film event is supported by the Royal Embassy of Cambodia, who will serve drinks and snacks, after the screening.
The Ambassador of Cambodia, H.E. Mr Long Visalo will introduce the film.
‘MYN BALA: WARRIORS OF THE STEPPE’, KAZAKHSTAN (‘Zhauzhurek myng bala’)
Directed by Akan Satayev h
2 Hrs. 12 Mins
SATURDAY 30 JUNE, 4:00 PM
(With ENGLISH Sub-Titles)
We are proud to screen a grand historical film from the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan, for the first time.
‘Myn Bala’ (which means ‘Thousand Warriors’) is based on the life of a
a mythical Kazakh warrior-hero Sartai, of the 18th century, who fought against the Dzungars, a merciless tribe who ruled over the Kazakhs.
Sartai watched his parents being killed by the Dzungars, as a child, and vowed revenge. After he trained as a warrior, he teamed up with two close friends and a group of guerrilla fighters, to spring surprises and attack the Dzungars. The movement spread in the steppes, until the final Battle of Anyrakay in 1729, which is a landmark date in Kazakh independence.
This is another topical film for today, because the guerrilla fights remind us of similar happenings all around the world.
The story has many ups and downs. Sartai falls in love with the daughter of a tribe-leader, and is confused what to do. He faces opposition from a close friend and is nearly killed by him. But he never loses focus, and remains determined on his task.
More than 20,000 contenders across the country were auditioned for this film, to play the important role of Sartai.
The whole movie is set outdoors, and the visuals are spectacular- the endless steppes, giant tents, unique tribal culture of the country. The story also has some magnificently-shot fight sequences, which have been compared to epic Hollywood films like Braveheart. The final battle is particularly outstanding.
This was one of the most expensive films made in Kazakhstan, by one of their best-known action-directors, and was a huge ‘hit’ in the country. It was also shown in many international festivals and was the country’s Oscar nominee in 2014.
Hollywood Reporter: ‘Fast moving and visually ravishing, it is a kind of Central Asian hybrid of ‘Braveheart’ and ‘300’.’
Leiwandreporter.com (German):’ Visually, it is not behind a Hollywood production. For anyone who would like to gain a new movie experience, this film is highly recommended.’
The film event is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who will serve drinks and snacks, after the screening.
The Ambassador of Kazakhstan HE MS Raushan Yesbulatova, will introduce the film.
The Film Screenings will be held in the new RCB FORUM room (2 Floor ).
****An RCB Boat-Service will leave Saphan Thaksin Pier at
*****A return RCB Boat-Service will leave the RCB Pier, at
7:15 pm (Please contact at concierge counter on the 1st Floor)