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4 KÖNIGE (4 Kings) - Film Review (German Film Festival 2016)

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Actors Clemens Schick & Jella Haase will be in Oz for Q&A
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Media launch night of the Goethe-Institut Australien's upcoming German Film Festival 2016 at the Palace Cinema Como went off with its usual pomp and ceremony. Hofbräuhaus Melbourne were the caterers for another year running, keeping all the supporters and media representatives of the German Film Fest happy and satisfied with delicious food and wines and soft drinks on offer. Hofbräuhaus's Marketing Manager was there in person to ensure everything went smoothly, as were Goethe-Institut's Director Sonja Griegoschewski and Cultural Program Coordinator Gabriele Urban, along with helping interns from Germany.

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Images © C-Films (Deutschland) & Tatami Films

Be sure to keep the festival dates below in mind, complete with links, as it's one not to be missed. It's filled with the usual special events and stars of German film visiting our shores for Q&A events, along with amazing features to take full advantage of.

2016 Festival Dates - Tickets & Program
15 - 29 November - Sydney
17 - 30 November - Melbourne
25 - 30 November - Brisbane
24 - 27 November - Canberra

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Palace Cinema Como - Media Launch: ready for the German Film Festival 2016

Finally it was time for the film 4 Kings to begin, after a few welcoming and introduction speeches about the German Film Festival from Goethe's Director and Cultural Program Coordinator, along with Film Critic Peter Krausz.

However, not before we were shown a documentary on Studio Baberlsberg in Germany, just a stone's throw from the trendy city of Berlin. It was a revelation to me to find out that an amazing number of American films that I'd enjoyed were filmed there. There was nothing but high praise from all International producers and actors about Babelsberg's top-notch crew and services; something we've come to trust and know as German quality and reliability.

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Clemens Schick on the left, is the special event guest coming to Australia

4 KÖNIGE (4 Kings)

Produced in 2015 and with Director Theresa von Eltz at the helm, this is a 103 minute long drama starring Paula Beer, Jella Haase, Jannis Niewöhner, Moritz Leu and Clemens Schick. It won the German Film Award 2016 in Bronze for Best Feature Film.

Clemens Schick plays the unorthodox psychiatrist Dr Wolff, treating 4 emotionally troubled teens from Hamburg, played by the rest of the cast. The time focuses on Christmas when these 4 are left to spend it at the Institute, learning to fit in with each other, experiencing a gamut of emotions and moments together.

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Jella Haase is also a special event guest arriving in Australia

Lara simply doesn't feel appreciated by her parents. Alex has to deal with a mother who puts on the guilt trip whenever she leaves to spend time with her father. Timo has a lot of anger management issues and Fedja the quiet and nervous one has obviously been traumatised and is always in a state of constant panic. Dr Wolff himself has to work against a lot of conventional red tape and methods he doesn't necessarily agree with, along with a watchful nurse who doesn't approve of his unorthodox methods at all.

The film centres on what Christmas means to everyone, bringing out their personal feelings. With Lara at the helm of a video camera she also interviews one of the nurses about Christmas and as it goes along it becomes quite personal, revealing funny and painful moments for all. It's going to be a Christmas to remember.

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Hofbräuhaus continuing to support and cater for the German Film Festival 2016; its Marketing Manager on the left

This is quite a slow moving film that pronounces the austerity of the adolescent psychiatric clinic, punctuated by Lara's effervescent personality and the peeling away of the layers of the personalities involved, with end goals waiting to be achieved. Keeping it real, you may not necessarily find the culmination you're looking for or perhaps expect. However this film definitely leaves you with a lot of thoughts to ponder about the story and the visually great performances from its young shooting stars.

The storyline itself, supported by some brilliant acting, leads you to the point without laying it all out for you, and gives you the experience to the point of your own comprehension. The subtle look of realisation on Timo's face, the frustration with the system Dr Wolff has to work through; all of it, all the personalities are there to be discovered and exposed for your full cinematic experience; but you must pay attention.

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Delicious food and drinks from Hofbräuhaus, along with a happy customer and Film Critic Peter Krausz & Goethe-Institut Australien Director Sonja Griegoschewski in conversation


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Why? This film review is a part of the German Film Festival 2016
When: 15 - 30 November 2016
Where: Palace Cinema Como, Cnr Toorak Rd & Chapel St, South Yarra, VIC
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