Dark Satellites (German Film Festival 2024) - Film Review

Dark Satellites (German Film Festival 2024) - Film Review

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Posted 2024-05-06 by Jenfollow

Tue 07 May 2024 - Wed 05 Jun 2024


Image - German Film Fest 2024

Directed by Thomas Stuber, the all-star ensemble features Martina Gedeck (Christa), Nastassja Kinski (Birgitt), Albrecht Schuch (Jens), Lilith Stangenberg (Aischa), Adel Bencherif (Hamed, Aischa's husband), Charly Hübner (Erik), Irina Starshenbaum (Marika), Andreas Döhler (Mario, friend of Jens), Hermann Beyer (Mario's father) and Peter Kurth (Hans, Hamed's foreman). At 120mins long, Dark Satellites is an Australian Premiere at the German Film Festival . Do check out the rest of the program via the given link and see what this year's Festival has in store for you. You can also Download the Program if you haven't already picked up a hardcopy from Palace Cinema . With something for everyone, Kino for Kids is the sidebar for budding cinephiles at the Festival, presented by the Goethe Institut Australia . Festival dates are as follows - Canberra: 7 May – 29 May; Sydney: 8 May – 29 May; Brisbane: 9 May – 29 May; Melbourne: 10 May – 29 May; Adelaide: 15 May – 5 June; Byron Bay: 16 May – 5 June; and Perth: 16 May – 5 June.

Images this & below © Sommerhaus Filmproduktion, Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany

This tender ensemble drama from Thomas Stuber is based on the short story collection by Clemens Meyer and told in poetic vignettes. It explores three stories of longing in nighttime Leipzig, set amongst the everyday lives of its characters. A snack bar owner smokes with his Muslim neighbour in the stairwell of their apartment building, looking out to the brutalist concrete buildings on the city’s outskirts - relics of the GDR past. As the nights go on, they draw closer to one another. A security guard watches over a satellite town with a residential complex that many foreigners call home. On night patrol, he encounters a young Ukrainian woman who fled her home country when the war broke out. A cleaner meets a hairdresser in a train station bar after her night shift. They become friends and spend many nights together in the station, escaping their loneliness.


Loneliness and longing are the trademarks that connect three quiet encounters on the outskirts of the city, where away from the city lights, three couples enjoy relief from their daily lives for a moment each day. Night after night these ordinary people return to the places of their longing. Snack bar owner Jens (Albrecht Schuch) is attracted to, and desires his married Muslim neighbour Aischa (Lilith Stangenberg), as they spend time over a nightly cigarette in the stairwell. Security guard Erik (Charly Hübner) develops feelings for the young Marika (Irina Starshenbaum) who has lost everything, on his routine tour of the foreigners' dormitory. Cleaner Christa (Martina Gedeck) seeks comfort in hairdresser Birgitt (Nastassja Kinski) whom she meets at the end of her shift at a local bar. Three stories with connection, desire and wanting love, their commonality.


The start of the movie sets the tone when road workers down their tools and head towards the woods behind a petrol station. Crouched together are migrants, a woman, obviously the mother, sobbing over the corpse of her child. It's suspected the child has eaten a poisonous flower. The authorities called, and the work crew return to work, one of them, a Muslim man - Hamed. Just like the beginning is a random moment, the arbitrary hand of fate, so are the rest of the stories to follow - just something that happened. The performances are believable and palpable -at times raw and tangible. Christa and Birgitt were once married and have children, yet they draw towards each other in a tryst. When Birgitt goes MIA for a while, you feel all the anxiety Christa feels in a relationship, as the film ramps up the tension about a connection that may or may not take off.


Jens becomes friends with Hamed, a devout Muslim who encourages him to return to the mosque. They live in the same high-rise and it is Hamed's wife that Jens desires each night - making it a little awkward to be around Hamed. His desires mount, the connection between them slowly heating, but realistically, has it got somewhere to go? Erik the security guard is much older than the young girl he desires. He feels the need to protect, yet can't help his physical desires for her. Far-off wars have brought these two together, but is it just circumstance when one has lost everything and has nowhere to go? Performances on point, the desires and longing hit you square in the face. If it's an evening of being a fly on the wall, peeping into moments of lives and intimacies of thought you want, you've found the film for you.



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284633 - 2024-04-29 04:44:53

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