Robert Thalheim, “And Along Come Tourists”
The “New German Cinema” is still alive. That is the impression left by And Along Come Tourists (Am Ende kommen Touristen) by Robert Thalheim (born in Berlin in 1974). Even though this period of German film history finished during the eighties, after twenty years, it is unthinkable to see Thalheim’s film without thinking about the movies by Wim Wenders. Despite the visual resources, the situation of young Germans after the war links Wenders and Thalheim.
The movie proposes two parallel journeys. In one of them, the lead character, a young man from Berlin called Sven Lehnert (Alexander Fehling) moves from his town to another very close to the concentration camps in Auschwitz, Poland. There lies a paradox, because after the Nazis exterminated a lot of Polish in this place, Sven arrives to do social work. He even takes care of a survivor, a man who is not able to manage on his own, called Stanislaw Krzeminski (Ryszard Ronczewski). And here is precisely where the second journey begins. An inner trip to the common past of Germany and Poland through Sven’s eyes.
And Along Come Tourists talks about the war sequels. About how the citizens, children of the conflict, have to learn to reconcile. Even though more than sixty years have passed after World War II, Thalheim, who presented this movie in the official selection in Cannes, has a personal look. After all, his film is based on his own experience. Just like Sven, he traveled to Poland and did the same work when he was young. Perhaps that is why the movie is more honest and simple. But the truth is that it is a universal story about how no war can last forever, because finally, along come the tourists. (Miguel Angel Farfán)
Albertina Carri, “La rabia”
A noisy scream in the huge Argentinean country. Nati, a girl, builds in her mind the fractured reality in which she lives, trying to understand or get an explanation. The land asks to those who work on it, the strength and the temperament necessary to survive. As a result, the strength becomes violence.
Considered as one of the directors of the “New Argentinean Cinema”, Carri presents us the world of La rabia. The life of the workers passes by along with the basic needs: eating, reproducing and dying. Everyone wishes the same and the strongest shall fight for dominating the land. This way, the act of eating is shown crudely: in a raw scene where the theater is shocked by the slaughter of a pig, because of the details seen. Also in tireless sex moments almost totally sadomasochistic and in the unavoidable ending: the death of the one who does not fit in this space.
The look of the children is highlighted, curious and scared, submitted to the will of the parents. Ladeado, son of one of the fighting workers, relieves through its work the abuses and gives a weasel and his dogs the almost paternal tenderness which he lacks. In these conditions, the music is loud and points with touches of rock the life in the country.
The documentary and fictional work of the director of Gemini (Géminis) and The Blonds (Los rubios) is characterized by the search of identity and the violence, subjects which touch her in a personal manner, since her parents disappeared and were killed when she was three years old, in the times of the Argentinean dictatorship. A well-worked and attracting film which has been chosen to participate in the section Panorama of the Berlinale. (Flor Preciado)
Yulene Olaizola, “Intimidades de Shakespeare y Víctor Hugo”
It is so nice to walk off the theater amazed and thinking about a documentary which does not talk about a scandal of epic proportions. Intimidades de Shakespeare y Víctor Hugo, opera prima by the young Mexican Yulene Olaizola, is a live proof that outrageous stories are not needed in order to make a great movie.
Following a solid and precise narrative structure, Olaizola develops the relationship between two beings linked by an unexplainable mutual understanding. She accomplishes to create a documentary really out of the ordinary, distributing pieces of information and building levels of intrigue associated to fiction movies. The operation of the camera is outstanding; it suggests answers to unending questions (notice the scene with the blond, blue-eyed guy). Despite establishing a rigorous investigation of the facts, the film gets an extraordinary connection with its lead characters, with plenty of subtle details which, although they do not explain the relationship landlord-tenant, exposes it magically to the contemplation. The most impressive is, however, the impartiality with which Olaizola handles the concurrence. Even if the lead character is her grandmother and the other has hidden hobbies, the supernatural union shared by these individuals is never judged.
I loved the movie because it left me thinking more about me, my values, my paradigms and my ways of judging, than about the movie itself. In a certain way, it is a challenge to the viewer, which offers the strangest relationship and nevertheless making him accept it as something real, uncommon but existing in meat and thought. It is a movie that, for me, fulfills all the requisites of a complete movie: absorbing, well-worked and provocative — a strong candidate to win the prize for best documentary. I mean it. (Enrique Valdez)