HSBC German Film Festival 2024 – a preview

The 2024 HSBC German Film Festival is back at Palace Cinemas, this year celebrating 70 years of German cinema. The 2024 line-up features six films direct from the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), a Werner Herzog retrospective, a selection of the best German films from the last 70 years and new films for budding cinephiles in the Kino for Kids side bar, presented by the Goethe-Institut.

The festival’s special guest is Andreas Dresen, the award-winning director of the Opening Night selection FROM HILDE, WITH LOVE (In Liebe, Eure Hilde) (main image) which premiered to widespread acclaim at the recent Berlinale. Featuring an extraordinary performance from Liv Lisa Fries as a young woman drawn into the anti-Nazi resistance movement during World War II, the film is a compelling historical drama and remarkable true story. Andreas Dresen will be attending Opening Night Receptions in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide where he will introduce the film and will also participate in Q&A events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Also direct from Berlinale is festival Centrepiece FOREIGN LANGUAGE (Langue Étrangère), starring Nina Hoss and Chiara Mastroianni. The impeccable, heartfelt drama follows two teenagers in Leipzig and Strasbourg who forge a friendship through letters and language exchange. Their bittersweet and boundary-testing friendship is strained as they grapple with how to understand themselves and the world around them.


Closing the festival this year will be TREASURE, again direct from its premiere at Berlinale. This touching drama starring Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry, follows a music journalist and her Polish father, a Holocaust survivor, who set out on a tour of their family homeland.

An all-star cast including Nastassja Kinski and Albrecht Schuch headlines DARK SATELLITES (Die stillen Trabanten). A moving ensemble drama set in nighttime Leipzig, it tells three stories about the impossibility of love in poetic vignettes. SCORCHED EARTH (Verbrannte Erde)is a slick crime thriller starring Mišel Matičević and Alexander Fehling. Twelve years after fleeing, a career criminal returns to Berlin in search of work. And from Austria, ANDREA GETS A DIVORCE (Andrea lässt sich scheiden) is a nuanced tragicomedy starring Birgit Minichmayr as a rural policewoman who wants a divorce and longs to become a detective inspector in the city but faces unforeseen challenges along the way.

Scorched Earth

In 2024, German Films is celebrating 70 years of German cinema abroad and to recognise this milestone, a remarkable selection of feature films and documentaries have been selected, including Oscar®-winning productions, acclaimed festival films, and rarely screened gems.

The Festival will be celebrating one of Germany’s most loved and acclaimed auteurs in the sidebar Burden of Dreams: Films of Werner Herzog. The program includes the 2022 documentary WERNER HERZOG: RADICAL DREAMER from filmmaker Thomas von Steinaecker. Selected features include his early work, like the 1972 existential odyssey AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes) starring Klaus Kinski; FITZCARRALDO, also featuring Kinski, about an audacious quest to haul a steamship over a Peruvian mountain; the enigmatic and experimental HEART OF GLASS (Herz aus Glas); his gothic horror adaptation of NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (Nosferatu – Phantom der Nacht) with Kinski in the role of Dracula; and celebrating the 50th anniversary of its release, THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle) the remarkable story based on real events, of a young man raised in isolation.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Staying in retro territory, other highlights include the 4K restoration of critically acclaimed tragicomedy JACOB THE LIAR (Jakob der Lügner), the only East German film to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards; THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN (Die Ehe der Maria Braun), directed by renowned filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder; YESTERDAY GIRL (Abschied von gestern – Anita G.) considered a seminal work in New German Cinema; TRACE OF STONES (Spur der Steine) which was banned for political reasons and not officially released until after the fall of the Berlin Wall; pioneering wildlife documentary SERENGETI SHALL NOT DIE (Serengeti darf nicht sterben) winner of the 1960 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; and TONI ERDMANN, an audience favourite since its 2016 release, which couples a delightful blend of cringe comedy with German cinematic brilliance and catapulted Sandra Hüller to international stardom.

In this year’s New German Cinema, you can expect films like the historical drama BLIND AT HEART (Die Mittagsfrau), adapted from Julia Franck’s acclaimed bestselling novel, a touching portrait of a young woman struggling with her identity is set in 1920s and 30s Germany; NOT A WORD (Kein Wort) starring Maren Eggert as a mother juggling her career as a conductor and mother to a teenage son; and EVERY YOU EVERY ME (Alle die Du bist) which challenges audiences with the question, what if the person you love most suddenly becomes a stranger in your eyes?

In addition, the Goethe-Institut is presenting the ever-popular sidebar “Kino for Kids” which is specially curated for children, teens and families.

The 2024 HSBC German Film Festival will take place from 7 May – 5 June

Venues and dates:
Canberra: 7 May – 29 May, Palace Electric
Sydney: 8 May – 29 May, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central, Palace Moore Park (new)
Brisbane: 9 May – 29 May, Palace James St, Palace Barracks
Melbourne: 10 May – 29 May, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, The Astor Theatre, Pentridge Cinema and Palace Penny Lane (new)
Adelaide: 15 May – 5 June, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas
Perth: 16 May – 5 June, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX & Palace Raine Square
Byron Bay: 16 May – 5 June, Palace Byron Bay

For more information and tickets, please visit www.germanfilmfestival.com.au
Facebook: @GermanFilmFest
Instagram: @germanfilmfestival

David Edwards

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