After its March edition,  the second festival for German cinema in China this year shines over Beijing again between 17-26 November.

The Festival of German Cinema in China 2023 was presented by German Films and the Goethe-Institut China. Congratulations to our German friends! This is not only a good exposure of the latest German films but also the coming Berlinale in 2024 too.

Read our report for the March edition here.

Festival Programme (November 2023)

When Will it be Again Like Never Was (Opening Film)

Sonja Heiss

Germany | 2023 | Comdey | 116 min | FSK 12

When will it finally be the way it was again is the film adaptation of the bestseller of the same name by Joachim Meyerhoff about a childhood as the son of the director of a child and adolescent psychiatric clinic.

 

Music 

Angela Schanelec

Germany/France/Serbia | 2023 | Drama | 108 min | FSK 12

Abandoned at birth, Jon is adopted without ever knowing his father or mother. As a young man, he’s incarcerated after a deadly accident and falls in love with prison warden Iro, who takes care of him and records music for him. Neither are aware of their fateful connection.

 

Come With me to the Cinema – The Gregors 

Alice Agneskirchner

Germany | 2022 | Documentary  | 155 min | FSK 12

In this documentary, the ninety-year-old film historian Ulrich Gregor and his wife Erika share why they called the arthouse cinema where they showed more than 16,000 films the “Arsenal”, and explain what lies behind the name Forum, the Berlinale’s important independent section, which they founded and whose program they shaped for thirty years. Besides a personal portrait, the film is also an exciting journey into the history of film and society in Germany and Europe.

 

The Ordinaries 

Sophie Linnenbaum

Germany | 2022 | Feature | 120 min | FSK 12

In a repressive three-class society, supporting character Paula must prove that she deserves to be a lead. She’s in the top of her class at Main Character School but has so far failed to generate great emotional music. In search of a solution, Paula finds herself in the abyss of the cinematic world, on the fringes of the storyline and lost among the outtakes.

 

In a Land That No Longer Exists

Aelrun Goette

Germany | 2022 | Drama | 101 min | FSK 12

East Berlin, early summer 1989. 18-year-old Suzie is thrown headfirst into the vibrant fashion scene in socialist East Germany when a photo of herends up on the cover of Sibylle, the Vogue of the East. Together with the glamourous Rudi, she dives into the dazzling underground subcultureworking on their very own fashion designs. When she falls in love with the talented and rebellious photographer Coyote, her life ultimately changes.She lives the freedom she had always dreamed of. But while Suzie’s star as a supermodel is on the rise, Coyote has other plans and Suzie is asked tobetray her friends. Now Suzie must decide: what price is she willing to pay?

 

Dancing Pina 

Florian Heinzen-Ziob

Germany | 2022 | Documentary | 111 min

The Semperoper in Dresden, Germany, and the École des Sables near Dakar, Senegal: The projects of the Pina Bausch Foundation show how a young generation of dancers from all over the world is rediscovering Pina Bausch’s choreographies. Under the guidance of former dancers from her company, they study Iphigenia on Tauris and The Sacrifice of Spring. The dancers have to experience Pina Bausch’s choreographies anew with their bodies and their stories. As dancers from street dance, classical ballet, and traditional and contemporary African dance transform Pina Bausch’s work, Pina Bausch’s choreographies transform the dancers.

 

Mittagsstunde 

Lars Jessen

Germany | 2022 | Feature | 93 min | FSK 6

The lecturer Ingwer Feddersen sets up a sabbatical to take care of his parents and moves back to his North Frisian home village of Brinkebüll for a year. There’s nothing here anymore as it once was. The facades are only slowly crumbling, and true motives and events from Ingwer’s childhood in the 1970s come to light.

 

Seven Winters in Tehran 

Steffi Niederzoll

Germany/France | 2023 | Documentary | 97  min | Farsi

In 2007 Tehran, Iran, 19-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari stabs an alleged rapist and is arrested for murder. Sentenced to death, Reyhaneh becomes a symbol of women’s rights after her execution.

 

In the Blind Spot 

Ayse Polat

Germany | 2023 | Drama/Thriller | 117 min | Turkish/German/English/Kurdish

In the Blind Spot is a 2023 German mystery thriller film directed and written by Ayşe Polat. Starring Katja Bürkle, Ahmet Varlı, Çağla Yurga and Aybi Era, the film is about Melek, a 7–year–old Turkish girl and her father Zafer, who are drawn into a complex net of conspiracy, paranoia and generational trauma.

 

The Forest Maker 

Volker Schlondorff

Germany | 2022 | Documentary | 87 min | English/German/Hausa

Together with African small farmholders Tony Rinaudo, an Australian agronomist, has been fighting against the spread of the desert for 30 years and challenges ideas of conventional reforestation with his simple yet effective method.

 

One Last Evening 

Lukas Nathrath

Germany | 2023 | Comedy | 90 min | FSK 12

A group of friends getting together for one couple’s farewell party while eyeing each other’s achievements.

 

No, I Do 

Claudia Sarkany

Germany | 2023 | Documentary | 70 min | English/German

 

Festival Official Website