A promising career with the police, a baby on the way… Marc’s life seems to be right on track. Then he meets fellow policeman Kay and during their regular jogs Marc experiences a never-before-felt sense of ease and effortlessness — and what it means to fall in love with another man. Torn between his family and his new feelings for Kay, Marc sees his world careening more and more out of control. Suddenly, his life is in free fall and Marc realizes that try as he may, he can’t make everyone happy. Least of all, himself.
“Do you ever have the feeling that everybody around you is strange, and then you realise that it’s you that’s the problem?” Berliner Niko packed in his law studies two years ago and is taking each moment as it comes. His place in life evades him and he spends his time “reflecting”. He drifts through the city, alone or with his buddy Matze, curious of people and their activities. On this particular day, Niko experiences the consequences of his passivity: his girlfriend dumps him, his father stops his income, former classmate Julika confronts him with wounds from their past – and the city seems to have run out of coffee. OH BOY is a charmingly self-ironic portrait of a young man and the city he lives in. Shot in vivid black and white, the film alternates between melancholy and humour, and shows the protagonist’s search for his place in a world where everything yet nothing seems possible.
Berlin, 1940. Working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their only son has lost his life in the battlefield and decide to resist the Nazi regime in their very own way. Soon the Gestapo is hunting “the threat”.
Only 13 minutes were lacking for carpenter Georg Elser to have changed the course of world history. On 8 November 1939 he placed a bomb behind Adolf Hitler’s lectern in a Munich beer cellar. But the ‘Führer’ left the building earlier than planned and hence survived the assassination which could have possibly led to an earlier end of World War II. Oliver Hirschbiegel, who already traced the final days of the criminal Nazi dictatorship in Downfall, illuminates the background to this courageous act and creates a memorial for ‘little George’ from the Swabian Alps. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]
Berlin, the Romantic Era. Young poet Heinrich wishes to conquer the inevitability of death through love, yet is unable to convince his sceptical cousin Marie to join him in a suicide pact. It is whilst coming to terms with this refusal, ineffably distressed by his cousin’s insensitivity to the depth of his feelings, that Heinrich meets Henriette, the wife of a business acquaintance. Heinrich’s subsequent offer to the beguiling young woman at first holds scant appeal, that is until Henriette discovers she is suffering from a terminal illness. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Öllers and Niederländer are two highly paid consultants. For years they’ve been touring the world’s dirtiest countries seeking to satisfy their clients’ hunger for profit. Reality exists merely as a dusty silhouette behind the windows of their air-conditioned luxury hotels. Their goal seems to be within their grasp: to ascend to their company’s top echelon and finally be made partners. Both are well aware that, according to their firm’s unwritten rules in the hierarchy, they’ll need to secure their final promotion by their mid-thirties or else they’ll be sidelined: ‘up or out’. But then their old rival Hellinger is given the sought-after promotion and they find themselves forced to come to terms with his successor, the ambitious young Bianca. Gradually, they begin to lose control and their nerves are on edge: why did Hellinger throw himself out of a window? Why is the company being sold? And will the firm reshuffle the cards without them? Who can they trust? They are fighting their last battle. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]
Berlin, 1941. Five friends eager to become heroes in an adventure that will change the face of Europe – and that will forever change them as well.