UNDINE – Review by Liz Braun

A fairy tale gets a modern retelling in Undine, a symbol-laden love story from German director Christian Petzold (Phoenix; Transit). The 19th century Undine (by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque) was a water nymph who marries a human to get a soul; there are strings attached, however. It’s the same territory as Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, or any other dark fable prior to being Disneyfied.

Read more

COPILOT (Berlinale 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Anne Zohra Berrached constructs a powerful, moving love story where politics hovers inescapably around the edges as young lovers struggle against external factors to find a way through together. The electricity between her two leads grants the film its emotional core. While their individual performances are admirable, it is the many scenes in which they appear together that light up the screen. Copilot is a captivating political love story, where all that is pure and good lies in precarious tension with a world gone mad.

Read more

BUNGALOW – Review by Diane Carson

It’s certainly difficult to make an engaging film about aimless, shallow people, and German director Ulrich Köhler hasn’t. Witness nineteen-year-old Paul in Bungalow. In opening scenes he goes AWOL from his German army unit, apparently on a whim. For the remainder of the film, at his parents’ bungalow (of the title), he meanders, swims, lounges, lies, and dodges the army MPs.

Read more

LUZ – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Luz is a sleepy, creepy slow burn that—like oh-so-many films about demonic possession—lives in the twilight zone of adolescent sexuality, a sleepy wasteland that breeds monsters of every shape and form. And like so many films whose origin lie in relationships between adolescent girls, Luz is rooted in the primordial horror of female sexuality that stops short of blaming female problems for all the troubles of the world.

Read more

THREE PEAKS – Review by Jennifer Merin

German director Jan Zabeil’s beautifully crafted sophomore narrative feature, Three Peaks, is a truly disturbing film. It’s a horror story without gimmicks, ghosts, ghouls or goblins. There is no paranormality. In fact, the story revolves around a very normal modern threesome — two adults and a child — who take a family vacation in a relatively isolated cabin in a beautiful and pristine mountain setting.

Read more