Archive of films Western / Western
Germany / Bulgaria / Austria
2017, 119 min
This year at Cannes, the producers of the hit Toni Erdmann introduced the long-awaited third film by renowned German director Valeska Grisebach. Her picture unfolds in the Bulgarian-Greek border region in a community of German construction workers, foreigners in a no man’s land whose conflicts with the local community, according to the rules of the genre, seem to be inevitable – the movie is titled Western after all.
This year at Cannes, the producers of the hit Toni Erdmann introduced the long-awaited third film by renowned German director Valeska Grisebach. Her Western, a “far piece” from the classic drama, unfolds in the Bulgarian-Greek border region in a community of German construction workers. The foreigners are enjoying their “exotic” stay in this seeming no man’s land, but their inability to communicate with the locals, on top of the major cultural clashes, only provokes alarm. According to the rules of the genre mentioned in the title, conflict seems inevitable and undoubtedly points to the geopolitical schism currently afflicting Europe. “I really wanted to get closer to the lonely heroes of the genre and to see what they’re dealing with. It’s a burden if you’re not allowed to show your feelings, and they have a lot of feelings inside. There’s also maybe this ambivalence,” observes the director, who, in her critically acclaimed motion picture, cast nonprofessional actors capable of standing up charisma-wise to the most admired screen legends.
About the director
Valeska Grisebach (b. 1968, Bremen, Germany) first studied philosophy and German language and literature in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna. In 1993-2001 she attended the Film Academy in Vienna. After a trio of documentaries (Sprechen und Nichtsprechen, 1995; In der Wüste Gobi, 1997; Berlino, 1999), she shot her feature debut Be My Star (Mein Stern, 2001), screened in the Forum of Independents at KVIFF 2002. Her second writer-director picture, the love story Longing (Sehnsucht, 2006), was presented in the main competition at Berlin, followed by a screening in Karlovy Vary’s Forum of Independents.
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Bernhard Keller|
|Art Director:||Beatrice Schultz|
|Producer:||Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade, Valeska Grisebach, Michel Merkt|
|Coproduction:||Chouchkov Brothers, coop99 filmproduktion, KNM, ZDF|
|Cast:||Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov, Veneta Frangova|
|Distributor:||Film Europe s.r.o.|
Susana Santos Rodrigues
Distributor, Festival Organizer