The Berlinale and German Cinema | Movies | DW

The Berlinale and German Cinema | Movies | KG

Every year, the Berlinale is also a big show of German cinema. Who can make it to the festival, who is allowed to compete? Dieter Kosslick gives German cinema another big performance at its last Berlinale, with three German productions in the running for the Golden Bear this time – and two of them are right at the start.

Eagerly awaited: Fatih Akins literary adaptation

Fatih Akin already has a Golden Bear, in 2004 he deservedly won it for his emotional drama "Against the Wall". In addition, his films won awards in Cannes and at the European and German Film Awards. Akin belongs to the crème de la crème of German cinema. Clear that his new film in the competition of the Berlinale becomes an event.

Berlinale 2019 The Golden Glove (Boris Laewen / Warner Bros./dpa)

Fritz Honka (Jonas Dassler) finds his victims (here: Margarethe Tiesel) in the pubs and brings them home

And then Fatih Akin also delivered an event. However, the film should not be good for everyone. The native of Hamburg with Turkish roots tells in "The Golden Glove" (after the eponymous novel by Heinz Strunk) a drinker and murder story full of drama and brutality from his hometown, which actually took place in the 1970s.

The Golden Glove – History of a serial killer

Fritz Honka, who was a heavy drinker and especially in the Hamburg restaurant "Zum goldenen glove" reversed, then murdered four women from the prostitute milieu. He dismembered the corpses and hidden parts of it in his apartment. Because he was extremely beastly in his actions, the case Honka, which was solved only by accident, developed into one of the most spectacular criminal cases in the postwar German history.

Fatih Akin (middle) between actor Jonas Dassler and Heinz Strunk (left) on the red carpet (picture-alliance / dpa / J. Carstensen)

Fatih Akin (middle) between actor Jonas Dassler and Heinz Strunk (left)

"Honka to me is not just some serial killer like Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs," says Fatih Akin. Honka was a real person from his neighborhood, who also socialized them. When he was in elementary school, the director said, Honka had been a "fear figure of his childhood". "Watch out, the Honka is coming," was then in Hamburg a common threat and dread call on schoolyards and on the street.

Honka was a physically and psychologically deformed person

Fatih Akin has the case and Heinz Strunk Roman, which appeared three years ago, dramatically staged. Honka, born in 1935 in Leipzig, the son of a communist who was sitting in a concentration camp, was a laborer, an alcoholic, physically and emotionally deformed. Sexuality he could only live by inflicting harm on women.

Berlinale 2019 The Golden Glove (Warner Bros. Ent./Gordon Timpen / 2018 bombero int.)

The Salvation Army guest in the "Golden Glove"

With a full stomach, the film is almost unbearable. Honka's bloody deeds, the life in the alcohol excess, all this is staged by Fatih Akin beyond the limits of the bearable as apocalyptic images. The Hamburger Kiez, its bars and fries, Honka's apartment and especially the main scene of the action, the pub "Zum goldenen glove", is the cinematic hell ride.

"The golden glove": a bloody horror grotesque

The film is not a social drama, says Akin, "the term has a conning and prejudicial connotation to me, and for me, a film is more of a philosophical thing." My film is a portrait of a mental patient whose murders can not be explained by social circumstances. "

Berlinale 2019 The Golden Glove (Warner Bros. Ent./Gordon Timpen / 2018 bombero int.)

Jonas Dassler as serial killer Fritz Honka

On the other hand, Akin looked at his film adaptation but after just such traces of socially coherent explanations: "People die in tenements and social housing and stink for weeks to themselves." Only at the stench, the people notice that there anybody has died. Of course you try to be historically correct in such a movie, but you do not want to make the past look old and dusty, but if you do something like that, you will not notice some of the latest developments in the cinema It may be yesterday, but it could all happen just as well today. "

Akin paints the disgusting tableau of St. Pauli scenery in full tones

But through the drastic nature of the images, the characters and events, most of the viewers will find it hard to reflect on what they have seen. Too shrill, too gruesome and too repulsive is what opens up on the screen. Whilst Heinz Strunk also clearly described the deeds, he left it to the reader to get his own picture of the events. Exaggerated cinema images can also kill fantasy and thus productive experience – so the conclusion after the cinema visit.

Film Festival Berlinale 2019 Competition | Film System Sprinkler | System Crashers
(Kineo Film / Weydemann Bros. / Yunus Roy Imer)

Outstanding in the role of the young girl, which does not fit into any system: Helena Zengel

Rather, the hearts of the audience reached, surprisingly, the movie "System Sprenger" the German debutante Nora Fingscheid. Her portrait of a nine-year-old girl shown in the Berlinale Competition, pushed back and forth between an overburdened mother, homes and other social institutions, got under her skin. The girl, who is repeatedly plagued by angry attacks against educators and teachers, can not be incorporated – it blows up all systems.

Fatih Akin: "scare the audience."

Fingscheid has undoubtedly turned the more touching social drama. Shortly before the premiere of his film, Fatih Akin said in an interview with the German Press Agency that he had a clear goal in his new film. He had wanted to make a horror film and had the intention to scare the audience: "I wanted to: scare the audience – and in a way that it scares me."

69th Berlinale Reception of the Bavarian Film Promotion System Sprenger (picture alliance / dpa / C. Soeder)

Director Nora Fingscheidt (in red) with actors Albrecht Schuch, Helena Zengel and Lisa Hagmeister

He certainly succeeded. But the disgust prevails, the fear of the viewer feeds here from a superficial thrill. This is different with Nora Fingscheidt. In "Systemsprenger" she presents a very real psychological and socially grounded horror. But he touches the viewer at a deeper point. It is the horror of human despair and seems quite real.

This shows German cinema with two very different sides. With a horror based on a true story that then becomes a genre-fantasy story. And with a horror of a very subtle kind, which touches human and long after effects.

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