Archive of films Stopped on Track / Halt auf freier Strecke
2011, 110 min
A contented family is suddenly told that the father has a fatal illness. The tragedy, however, while crushing news for all of them, may also bring them closer to one another than at any time in the past. This improvised film with its unexpected comic forays was chosen, along with Kim Ki-duk’s Arirang, as best film in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year.
Simone and Frank, both 40, have only just settled in when they receive the worst news possible: Frank has cancer and things look very bad for him. This situation not only changes the practical running of the family, but also the relationships between the family members and their view of what dying really means. The director begins as a good doctor, delicately and openly taking his patient through the treatment and through his illness as it develops, which he observes in shrewd and precise detail. Here, as in his other films, Dresen manages to find a balance between the civil and dramatic aspects of the story. Similarly, he succeeds in gently introducing a sense of optimism into grave situations, which ultimately prevails in the film without trivialising the unfolding tragedy. Thanks to the director’s remarkable talent for giving a true picture of the most ordinary of situations, we follow the heroes on a journey they never dreamed they would have to take. The dialogues are based on improvisation which was preceded by extensive research carried out among advocates of hospices and people whose loved ones died after suffering serious illness.
About the director
Andreas Dresen (b. 1963, Gera, Germany) has developed an exceptional style of filmmaking. He began as an amateur in his field, and then studied at the Konrad Wolf Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg. His films penetrate to the heart of people’s problems, which he looks upon with great empathy and sense of humour. His Cloud 9 (Wolke 9, 2008), awarded in Cannes, is an example of this, as is the film Whisky with Vodka (Whisky mit Wodka, 2009), which won Best Director at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2009. Dresen’s debut film Silent Country (Stilles Land, 1992) was selected for the competition at Karlovy Vary; his subsequent works were also highly acclaimed, such as Grill Point (Halbe Treppe), which competed at the Berlinale in 2001. Stopped on Track was screened at the Cannes IFF in the Un Certain Regard section, where the jury, headed by Emir Kusturica, gave it the main award.
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Michael Hammon|
|Production:||Rommel Film e.K.|
|Cast:||Steffi Kühnert, Milan Peschel, Talisa Lilli Lemke, Mika Nilson Seidel, Ursula Werner, Marie Rosa Tietjen, Otto Mellies|
|Contact:||The Match Factory, CinemArt, a.s.|
Film Institution Rep.