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Who Am I: No System is Safe - Film Review (Audi Festival of German Films 2015)

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The trojan horse within the trojan horse
audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Images © of Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, Seven Pictures (co-production), Deutsche Columbia Pictures Film Produktion (co-production).


Who Am I - Kein System ist sicher (no system is safe) is rated age 15 plus, directed by Baran bo Odar and is 110 minutes long. It starts at the end and goes back to the beginning as Benjamin recounts his story thus far in detail. Benjamin is socially inept and is invisible to everyone. He's the zero amongst ones and doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Even the girl he has a crush on hardly notices him. His lonely existence is spent on the web where he feels like he's somebody with somewhere to belong. All these lonely hours spent on the web hones his skills and he becomes more than adept at what he does.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Tom Schilling, Antoine Monot Jr, Elyas M'Barek and Wotan Wilke Möhring.

So good is he, he can hack into just about every system and compares it to magic, explaining that they're both about deceiving people. One day he crosses paths with Max, a handsome, charismatic and self confident young man who Benjamin considers a winner. Complete opposites, they find common ground in what they both enjoy, computer hacking.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Elyas M'Barek (Max), Wotan Wilke Möhring (Stephan) and Tom Schilling (Benjamin) with Antoine Monot Jr (Paul) at the back.

Having proven his prowess on the web, Benjamin is taken into the fold of Max's subversive hacker group of friends. With the skilful Benjamin on their side, their escapades on the web becomes bolder as they take on challenge after challenge till the only way to go is to the top. Identifying themselves as CLAY (clowns laughing at you) they carry out a series of spectacular attacks on political parties and for street cred, to top it all, they decide to take on the Federal Intelligence Agency.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Stephan and Benjamin

This will give Benjamin the recognition and status he craves in the shadowy corner of cyberspace where hackers communicate, 'the Dark Nets' the 'Net inside the Net'. Impressing the reigning king of the hacking world, MR X, is paramount. Getting to him involves crossing paths with an extremely dangerous Russian group known as FRI3NDS and CLAY will need to execute the most brilliant of plans just to stay alive. Everything has consequences and soon enough Benjamin is exposed and puts CLAY on the radar.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Trine Dyrholm (Hanne Lindberg)

I was invited to this media event by my friend from the Goethe Institut Australien who play a major role in presenting the German Film Festival. I'm so thankful to have been given this opportunity as this film just pulled the rug out from under my feet. It would not have been my choice were it left up to me as it's all about computer hacking. Just shows you can't judge a book by its cover. It in fact has a very human face and a personal story. At the same time it moves at a good pace, it's exciting and visually striking, starting with the introduction which totally impressed me.

It's also very clever in its execution and just when you think you know, you don't know. Unable to fault the performances, I can't tell you much more than that. For to go any further would let the proverbial cat out of the bag and I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. All I can say is make sure you DO NOT miss this movie and put it high on your list of German films to watch at this festival.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Miranda Brown Publicity attending to the arriving media. Far right - Pseudo Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton introducing the movie and giving us a bit of background on the whole German Film Festival.

Upon introducing the film, when Pseudo Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton (Gabriele Urban - Cultural Program Coordinator (Goethe Institut Australien) Melbourne and Peter Krausz - Film Critic, Film Journalist, Q&A host and Film Juror) took to the stage, they also provided us with a bit of humour and friendly banter about the inability to call themselves Margaret and David even in jest and about the length of the introduction. Peter mentions that this also happens to be the biggest festival thus far with 50 films on the list and the addition of Byron Bay and Hobart as two new destinations hosting this festival.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Media Launch at Palace Cinemas Como on Monday 27 April 2015 at 6pm

A renown Australian film critic, Peter is a film journalist, radio broadcaster (Movie Metropolis) film festival consultant and Q&A host. He is the former Chair of the Australian Film Critics Association, and contributes regular film articles to different magazines. This year he's back on board with the Goethe Institut blogging on their new festival website along with a couple of young guns.

Playing a role in the choice of films presented at the festival in his capacity as festival consultant, Peter gave us a few recommendations about the films to put on the list to watch.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Delectable delights, soft drinks and wines - Catering by Hofbräuhaus.


There you have it.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Margaret and David - not. Gabriele Urban - Cultural Program Coordinator (Goethe Institut Australien) Melbourne and Peter Krausz - Film Critic, Film Journalist, Q&A host and Film Juror.

The fabulous spread for the night was put on by Hofbräuhaus (18-28 Market Ln, Melbourne (03) 9663 3361) who have supported the Audi German Film Festival for a few years. A German restaurant, bar and bier hall that has occupied the same address since 1968 and introduced Melbourne to Bavarian froth and fröhlich. Why not drop in on a Tuesday for one of their schnitzel challenges. Keep an eye on the prize via their Facebook page.

This seems to be the year for firsts; the largest festival thus far, the addition of Byron Bay and Hobart, a new Goethe Institut festival website, and now, Hophaus (Facebook page) coming on board as festival supporters. A German Restaurant and bar there's always something happening at Hophaus, so keep an eye on their event page.

audi festival of german films, Hannah Herzsprung, Trine Dyrholm, movie review, film review, goethe-institut australien, palace cinemas, who am i, no system is safe, tom schilling, Elyas M'Barek, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Antoine Monot Jr,
Couldn't resist this German Poster. Love it.

For instance, on Wednesday the 20th of May 2015 at 6.30pm, for $85 per person, they're having Melbourne's longest Bavarian bier dinner. The chef will produce some of the finest Bavarian dishes perfectly matched to biers from Weihenstephan, Weltenburger, Schlenkerla and a special "never seen before in this country" brew. Bookings are essential if you don't want to miss out, so call them on (03) 9682 5900.

However, in relation to their involvement with the festival as a Bronze Partner, they're having a SOUL KITCHEN event on Wednesday the 27th of May at 6.30pm. At $70 per head, this includes a movie (Fatih Atkin's Soul Kitchen - a declaration to German food and his hometown of Hamburg at Southgate Deckchair Cinema), food and a two hour drink-package of delicious canapés (created by executive chef Marc Brown), German beers and wine from the Niederösterreich & Burgenland regions of Austria. The movie will be followed by the soulful sounds of DJ Marcus Knight at Hophaus.

Bookings are essential. CLICK HERE for tickets. The Deckchair Cinema is on Level 3 of Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct and Hophaus Bier Bar & Grill on Level 2 is where you go after the film to collect on the rest of the package.

CLICK HERE for the Audi Festival of German Film's event page for updates and HERE for the Facebook page. THIS will take you to their new festival dedicated website where you can check out the program of the festival and even DOWNLOAD IT if you've not got your festival booklet yet. Make sure you go out in droves to enjoy the variety on offer at this festival and perhaps attend some of the great events associated with it. Checking the Palace Cinemas website or going to my previous article promoting this festival will give you all the details you need.

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Why? German film festival with special events, guest speakers, Q&A and other special events held by supporters like Hophaus German Restaurant and Bar i.e. Soul Kitchen screening and event.
When: 13 to 31 May 2015
Phone: (03) 9864 8999
Where: Palace and Kino Cinemas.
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