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Willkommen to a Month of German Films at TPH

by Sarah Soliman

This month is all about German cinema at The Picture House. The weekend of October 21 through October 23 we’re hosting The German Film Festival, and the education department is offering Sunday classes that look at contemporary German films. It’s a great chance for audiences to dive deep into some international cinema, see exciting new works, and learn from experts.

Opening night of The German Film Festival begins with an Oktoberfest beer and pretzel tasting! We’re especially excited about this year’s opening film, All Quiet on the Western Front, a new adaptation of the classic novel by World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque. This adaptation premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, and has been selected by Germany as its submission to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature. Time Out’s review of the film said: “This jaw-dropping vision of the Great War movingly captures the humanity amid the frying shrapnel.” It will be an exciting and moving night of cinema, for which we hope you’ll join us at TPH Pelham.

Three other films in the festival also look at Germany’s history. A Stasi Comedy is about a Stasi spy caught between his career and the woman he loves; Schächten tells the story of a young Jewish man looking for justice for the crimes committed against his family during the Holocaust; and The Conference is a somber and chilling look at how one group of people decided to carry out the mass murder of millions. Wet Dog, set in modern-day Germany, is about a Jewish teenager who hides his identity from his new group of friends in a primarily Muslim neighborhood.

Anybody who wants to enjoy expert-led, in-depth discussion about film, can register for Film Studies for Adults: Great German Actresses. There’s still time to sign up for Head-On with Philipp Nielsen on October 23 and Good Bye Lenin with Roland Dollinger on October 30. Philipp and Roland are both on the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where they specialize in German language, literature, and culture.

Head-On stars Sibel Kekilli — best known for the role of Shae on HBO’s Game of Thrones — as a suicidal young woman, who impulsively marries a fellow psychiatric patient in order to escape her strict, conservative family. The film, and Kekilli’s performance, won critical praise. The Chicago Tribune called it “an arresting new work by an obviously gifted and commanding moviemaker.” And our own Stephen Whitty, host of TPH Film Club said “Director Fatih Akin has made a remarkable film…marked by strong characters and intense scenes.”

 Good Bye Lenin! is a moving comedy about a son (a breakout role for Daniel Brühl, who would go on to star in Captain America: Civil War and Inglourious Basterds) trying to protect his mother’s health by preventing her from learning about the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s a poignant satire that will surely lead to a fascinating discussion.

Learn more about the German Film Festival and register for Film Studies for Adults: Great German Actresses.

The German Film Festival is made possible in part by the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of The New York Community Trust.

For the second year in a row, the German Film Festival is part of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts weekend-long ArtsFest.