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From 5 December 2023

Afire Roter Himmel

Christian Petzold / Germany / 2023 / 103 min / German

Afire is a story about a summer after which things will never be the same again. The ruthless and emotionally complex comedy of manners won Christian Petzold (Phoenix, Undine) a Silver Bear at the last Berlinale.

cast Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs, Matthias Brandt

IMDb

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Leon and Felix’s plan was to spend the summer together in a holiday home on the Baltic coast. They wanted to be there as friends but also to work – one on his second book, the other assembling his art portfolio. But Nadja and Devid are also there, and they bring lots of positive vibes with them. Four young people start experimenting with love, even though this does not come easy to Leon. His unfinished manuscript haunts him wherever he goes. As the forest begins to blaze, this relationship-drama laden with unspoken secrets, youthful impetuousness and jealousy takes a turn in a new direction.

“At the core Leon is a dreamer who can’t admit to himself that he should be dreaming. And thus he simulates an almost Protestant work ethic: “I have to work now.” The book ends up with the cramped tension of Protestantism. He must learn to dream his dreams in writing. To truly see the world, you must move through it in a somnambulant state. Cinema itself is a somnambulant affair. The cinemagoer is himself a somnambulant, because he is physically present but also absent. He doesn't have a body.” (Christian Petzold)

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