I had the pleasure of interviewing Bettina Kinski who is jetting across Australia to showcase her 2019 German Film Festival program.
The underlying theme for the program this year is the 30th anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And for this reason, Balloon has been chosen to kick off the festival on opening night. The director of Balloon is responsible for the biggest grossing films to have come out of Germany.
Balloon revolves around 1979 East Germany at the height of the Cold War. Günter Wetzel (David Kross, The Reader), a bricklayer, and his friend Peter Strelzyk (Friedrich Mücke), an electrician, can no longer bear the oppressive regime. The two men and their wives resolve to undertake a mission to secretly build a hot air balloon from scratch that will carry them and their families over the border fence to freedom. Over the course of the next 18 months they sew 1,000 square metres of cloth and gather countless weather reports from West German radio with the Stasi (State Police) hot on their heels. A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins.
So expect a very thrilling suspense if you are attending opening night of the festival.
Something that is quite unique to this program is Kino for Kids which is a subset of the program that is family friendly. This is a great way for children and teenagers to learn the German language. Something German teachers of Adelaide could think about in regard to helping their students learn this language.
A stand out film that the program director recommends is Styx which is one of the Austrian films on the program. Styx bravely depicts the Western world’s indifference towards the refugee crisis telling the story of a woman who takes a life-changing solo yacht trip. It is a very intense film which doesn’t have a lot of dialogue. But a film which promises to stir emotions. Susanne Wolff was nominated for best actress for her role in this film at the German film awards.
It was interesting to learn that Bettina doesn’t just have a background in curating film festival programs but also in film production. Her background has always been in film and documentaries and we cant wait to see the program she has put together for this program over the next few weeks at Palace cinemas.
Interview done by Tony Polese