Gundermann at the 2019 German Film Festival is Andreas Dresen's drama of the life of East German singer-songwriter Gerhard Gundermann, played by actor Alexander Scheer. It won six trophies at Germany's equivalent of the Oscars, including best film and best actor. This biopic was a sheer success on the strength of its storytelling and performance as far as I can see, as Gundermann was virtually unknown to West German audiences and more so the world. Most amazingly, actor Scheer sings every song himself. Seems to be the done thing in films today.
This and many other great films are still screening at the German Film Festival which runs till 12 June 2019. Check out the program and head to the cinema and engage in the Festival's rich offerings. Get your online program HERE.
Gundi as addressed by Anna Unterberger who plays his wife Conny, was a multi-faceted man who was outspoken and expressed himself with abandon. He was passionate about his feelings and lived the contradictory life of the idealist and informant; a husband, a lover, an artist; complete, yet not whole. His involvement as an unofficial collaborator from 1976 to 1984 for the Stasi comes to light and sets off a roller coaster of emotions, responses and reactions from all those around him in his world as a musician, a husband, a friend, a mining colleague.
This is an engaging film that has you in its grips from start to end. It has a gentleness about it, in spite of its political connotations. Running through it all is a deep love story and actor Scheer is a formidable performer to watch. He expresses his forthrightness, his entanglement, guilt, defiance and suppression with the surety of a good performer. He's believable in his naivety and regrets, while outwardly unapologetic, sticking by what he has said as he believes it's up to people how they judge him; and you will get that opportunity too. You be the judge after you've seen this unmissable film, which will no doubt have you discussing it long after you've left the cinema.
Anna Unterberger is a perfect match as his wife as she expresses the deep love, burning desire and camaraderie they have for each other with conviction while remaining outwardly cool and innocently gentle. However, the whole film revolves around the role of Gundermann as he navigates and questions his life. The music is mesmerising and you'd want to hang on every word, as it also pays a major part in the fabric of the storytelling. The true story of this folk hero known for his music and his lifestyle is well presented, rich and sophisticated and has been expressed as the greatest film about the GDR. There's a lot more to this story that runs deep, but I'll not be the spoiler for you. Don't miss it!
Why? Gundermann Film Revew @ German Film Festival 2019
When:Sydney 21 May - 9 June // Canberra 22 May - 9 June // Melbourne 23 May - 9 June // Perth 28 May - 12 June // Adelaide 29 May - 12 June // Brisbane 30 May - 12 June // Byron Bay 29 May - 12 June: 2019