Wednesday 8 May at 7:30 pm *
Valeska Grisebach│Germany/Bulgaria│2017│121 mins│M violence, sexual references & offensive language
“No film genre is more quintessentially ‘American’ than the classic western, whose beautiful but brutal landscapes, unreformed masculinity, violently policed borders and expansionist rhetoric captured US self-mythology in the post-war boom of the 1950s and 60s. But by refashioning these tropes for her long-awaited third feature Western, German director Valeska Grisebach has captured the tensions at the heart of the modern European project — between West and East, centre and periphery, past and present. Her desire to explore her childhood obsession with the heroes of [John] Ford and [Anthony] Mann has also allowed Grisebach a way back into filmmaking 12 years after her last feature, Longing (2006)… Western… [focusses on a] troupe of German construction workers [who] arrive in remote southern Bulgaria to build a hydroelectric plant. Among their number is the taciturn Meinhard, who drifts away from his compatriots into an ambiguous series of relationships with the local villagers…Confrontations between the two national camps flare up and there are fights for water, women and a stray white horse. Meinhard’s loyalties are questioned on all sides. But whereas a lesser film (or a more standard western) would descend into pitched, violent conflict in its final act, Grisebach grounds the drama in small gestures and glances that are allowed to resonate without exploding into action.”-The Calvert Journal
*Casual admission will be possible in exchange for a small donation.