focus usa

Can the state of contemporary filmmaking in the USA even be captured in a single programme? Can the myriad themes, communities and social conditions be adequately reflected? Of course, the selection for this Focus is subjective, how could it not be? Sure, some things fell through the cracks, other couldn’t be shown, and yet: the 13 feature-length and ten short films, as well as the French contribution to youth days, convey a sense of the variety of US-American cinema. Precarious circumstances are shown alongside the wealth of the upper class, history is examined and the here and now mined for potential, stories of indigenous life are told in poetic and experimental fashion and black and queer perspectives are placed centre-stage. The fissures in American society predate the Trump era, as does the deeply rooted racism that ails the States – a sickness made visible again nationwide thanks to the efforts of the “Black Lives Matter” movement – and the culture is also plagued by the sexism called out by the “Me Too” movement. In spite of all its issues, the USA is still a nation of artistic and social innovation and emancipatory action. And one of creative, uncomfortable, visionary cinema.

A SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

by Lisa Marie Malloy and J.P. Sniadecki
United States 2020 77 min Original version with German subtitles

exground SURPRISE

EXHIBITION: ORIAN BARKI & MERIEM BENNANI / 2 LIZARDS

EXHIBITION: RUSS MEYER’S BOSOMANIA

MAɬNI – TOWARDS THE OCEAN, TOWARDS THE SHORE

by Sky Hopinka
United States 2020 80 min English + Chinuk wawa original version with German and English subtitles

MASS
by Fran Kranz
United States 2021 110 min Original version with German subtitles

MY NAME IS LOPEZ

by P. David Ebersole & Todd Hughes
United States 2021 98 min Original version with German subtitles

PANEL: US CINEMA? WHAT’S THAT? IN SEARCH OF A NATIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY

PRESENTATION: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

QUEEN OF GLORY

by Nana Mensah
United States 2021 73 min Original version with German subtitles

READING: US LITERATURE

SHORTS FROM THE STATES

SLOW MACHINE

by Paul Felten and Joe DeNardo
United States 2020 72 min Original version with German subtitles

SOME KIND OF HEAVEN

by Lance Oppenheim
United States 2020 83 min Original version with German subtitles

SUMMERTIME

by Carlos López Estrada
United States 2021 95 min Original version with German subtitles

SUPERIOR

by Erin Vassilopoulos
United States 2021 99 min Original version with German subtitles

TAHARA

by Olivia Peace
United States 2020 78 min Original version with German subtitles

THE ANNOTATED FIELD GUIDE OF ULYSSES S. GRANT

by Jim Finn
United States 2020 61 min Original version

THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS

by Robert Machoian
United States 2020 84 min Original version with German subtitles

ZOLA
by Janicza Bravo
United States 2020 90 min Original version with German subtitles

Shorts as openers