American audiences have been treated to an amazing spectrum of German films over the years.  The past decade has been no exception. Having won two Oscars® for Best Foreign Language Film and having been nominated six times during the last eight years is proof that German films are a force on the international film scene.   The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles is delighted that German Currents, the fourth annual showcase of recent German films is returning this year to the Aero Theatre and other venues around Los Angeles. The opening night film (WHEN WE LEAVE) and the second night screening (ROCK HUDSON) will take place at the Egyptian Theatre, ANIMALS UNITED in 3D will screen at The Landmark, and a children’s matinee film will screen at Goethe-Institut Los Angeles; the rest of the program will take place at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

OPENING NIGHT – Wednesday, October 20 – 7:30 PM   EGYPTIAN

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Director and Writer Feo Aladag


Germany, 2010, 35mm, 123min., German/Turkish with English subtitles

Winner – Best Narrative Feature Award, and Winner – Best Actress Award for Sibel Kekilli at 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, WHEN WE LEAVE “examines one woman’s struggle for personal freedom. WHEN WE LEAVE is a riveting and heartbreaking story of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, who must not only free herself from that marriage, but also the cultural prejudices and judgments that would keep her there.  Feo Aladag built the nuances of her film over a six year period.  She rehearsed her actors for seven months.  She immersed herself in every detail of a culture that is revealed to us in remarkable detail.  The result is a film that balances complex social issues with honest human yearnings.  Through the brutality, WHEN WE LEAVE is also a story of tenderness, the struggle for compassion, the inexorable pull of family and the need to love and be loved.” – Tribeca Film Festival Narrative Jury.

Thursday, October 21 – 7:00 PM   THE LANDMARK In Person: Directors Reinhard Klooss, Holger Tappe


Germany, 2010, 90 min., German with English subtitles

First German Animated Film in 3D

The animals in the African savannah are confused: where has all the water gone? It should have come gushing in from a mountain canyon a long time ago. Their thirst and worries continue to grow, especially since the only little water hole is being closely guarded by ferocious buffaloes and rhinos. The brave little meerkat Billy and the peace-loving lion Socrates take off in search of water. They encounter the Gallic rooster Charles, who single-handedly led a polar bear, a kangaroo, a Tasmanian devil, and two Galapagos turtles to Africa, where they are now hoping for a better life in the Okavango Delta. But even this last reserve has been taken over by humans. The hotel owner Smith had a huge dam built and is wasting all the water for a luxury hotel. And of all places, it is here that politicians are holding a conference about the protection of the environment. So, the animals answer to this with their own conference: elephant Angie calls on everything that can run, fly, trample or crawl to defend themselves, in what becomes the kick-off to a turbulent offensive full of beastly tricks.

Thursday, October 21 – 7:30 PM   EGYPTIAN

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Director: André Schäfer


Germany, 2010, DigiBeta, 95min., English and German with English subtitles

Rock Hudson was a dream of a man; the epitome of masculinity: tall, slim and muscular, with a deep, mellifluous voice. His glossy black hair, sparkling eyes, high cheek bones and sensuous lips made Rock Hudson one of the sexiest film stars that Hollywood has ever produced. Twenty-five years ago, shortly before his sixtieth birthday, Rock Hudson died of AIDS-related illnesses, the first Hollywood celebrity to succumb to the disease.

But who was Rock Hudson really? This documentary sheds light on a famous actor star who performed a clandestine balancing act between his private and public lives; between the heterosexual world of an extremely manly looking screen idol and a darker side of forbidden sexuality lived by a secretly gay man.

Friday, October 22 – 7:30 PM   AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Author of the novel Donna Cross


Germany/United Kingdom/Italy/Spain, 2009, 148 min., English

Johanna (Johanna Wokalek) grows up in ninth-century Europe in Ingelheim am Rhein. The daughter of the dogmatic and doctrinaire village priest teaches herself to read and write in secret. When her extraordinary talent is discovered and she is allowed to attend the cathedral school in Dorstadt, where she falls in love with the knight Gerold. Following a bloody attack by Normans, Johanna disguises herself as a man and enters the monastery at Fulda. She learns the art of healing and is ordained. Her reputation as a healer takes her to Rome and she becomes the personal physician and confident of Pope Sergius (John Goodman). When the pope dies, she ascends the throne despite a brewing conspiracy. But the undiscovered “popess” has a dangerous weak point: she is pregnant by Gerold, her secret lover.

Based on the novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross.

Saturday, October 23 @ 5:00 p.m.   AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person:  Director Jan Tenhaven


Germany/Austria, 2010, 35mm, 98 min., German/Czech/Italian with English subtitles

Herbstgold – Wettlauf gegen die Zeit (WT: “Harvest Gold – Fighting Time and Age”) tells the life-affirming stories of five senior athletes who all have one goal: to take part in the track and field section of the World Masters Championships 2009 in Finland. The biggest challenge they face is their age: all five athletes are between 82 and 100-years-old.

“These five individuals are in a defiant race against time and throw a very ‘YES-to-life’ light on growing old in various countries. How do these senior citizens deal with everyday life? What roles do love and sexuality play? What does society think of them? Why is sport so important to them? How do they deal with the onset of frailty? Herbstgold is a film about life, about losers and winners, of setbacks and triumphs and maybe about death. Who will mount the podium at the end? Who will make a dignified withdrawal? Who will fight bitterly to the end – in the contest of life?” Director Jan Tenhaven.

Saturday, October 23 – 7:30 PM   AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Director Benjamin Heisenberg


Germany/Austria, 2010, 35mm, 98 min., German with English subtitles

Johann Rettenberger is a successful marathon runner and a serial bank robber. Soberly and precisely he measures his heart rate, strain, stamina and efficiency – both during training runs and bank raids, from which, concealed beneath a ludicrous mask and armed with a pump gun, he takes flight from the police. He lives, undiscovered, with his girlfriend Erika in Vienna. However, his addiction to the passion, the kick, the exercise and the symmetry of the perfect robbery propels him to take ever greater risks.

Based on the eponymous novel by Martin Prinz which dealt with a series of real crimes committed in Austria.

Saturday, October 23 – 9:30 PM   AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Director Baran Bo Odar (tbc)


Germany, 2010, 35mm, 122 min., German with English subtitles

When a child’s bicycle is discovered in a wheat field – in the exact location of a heinous crime committed 23 years earlier – and when it is later discovered that local girl Sinikka is mysteriously missing, a town is thrown into a haze of anxious uncertainty. At once a tense police procedural and a subtle yet devastating portrayal of a family’s struggle to come to terms with the unthinkable, director Baran bo Odar’s assured drama examines the ripple-effect of violence on a community.

Sunday, October 24 @ 10:00 a.m.  at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

Children’s Matinee

Los Angeles Premiere!


Germany, 2009, 35mm, 85 min., German

The live action film is based on the famous animation film series of the same title: The little redheaded Viking boy Vicky lives together with his mother Ylva and his father Halvar in the Viking village of Flake. Unlike other Vikings who by nature are strong, fearless and rather loud people, Vicky is sensitive and reserved – thus causing his stubborn father, the head of the Viking tribe, a lot of headache. But Vicky has the advantage of a special gift over his fellow Vikings: He is very smart and often has downright brilliant ideas. When Flake is one day raided by mysterious warriors who abduct all the children – only Vicky escapes the ordeal by chance – the Vikings set off to free the children. And they soon find out that sometimes brains are worth more than brawn.

Sunday, October 24 – 3:00 p.m.   AERO

Surprise Film – German Oscar Entry

Sunday, October 24 – 5:00 p.m. AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Director Vadim Jendreyko


Germany/Switzerland, 2009, 35mm, 97 min., Russian/German with English subtitles

Swetlana Geier is considered the greatest translator of Russian literature into German. She has just concluded her lifework for Zurich’s Ammann publishing house – completing new translations of Dostoyevsky’s five great novels – known as “the five elephants”. Her work is characterized by a great and sensual feeling for language and an uncompromising respect for the writers she translates. Her life has been overshadowed by Europe’s varied history.

Together with the film director Vadim Jendreyko, the 85-year-old woman is making her first trip from her chosen home in Germany back to the places of her childhood in the Ukraine. The film interweaves the story of Swetlana Geier’s life with her literary work and traces the secret of this inexhaustibly hard-working woman. It tells of great suffering, silent helpers and unhoped-for chances – and a love of language that outshines all else.

Sunday, October 24 – 7:30 PM   AERO

Los Angeles Premiere!

In Person: Actor and script-writer Florian David Fitz


Germany, 2010, 35mm, 95 min., German with English subtitles

Vincent’s mother has passed away, but Vincent vows to fulfill her last wish and let her see the sea one last time. The problem is how to get her ashes there, since Vincent suffers from Tourette Syndrome and has been packed off to a clinic by his father. Thanks to the anorexic Marie, she, Vincent and his obsessive-compulsive roommate Alex make off with a battered car and travel to Italy. Right behind them are Vincent’s pompous father and therapist Dr. Rose, a constantly bickering couple that could easily pass for neurotic themselves. An adventurous and momentous journey begins of whose end only one thing is certain – none of those involved will ever be the same again…



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