Tickets to the three parts of Dreileben are being sold as one package. For tickets to all three films screened consecutively on October 1, click here. For tickets to the three films screened across three nights, October 4 – 6, click here.
NYFF audiences who feasted on such epic, multi-part television projects as the Red Riding Trilogy, Carlos and Mysteries of Lisbon are sure to enjoy this remarkable meeting of three of the brightest talents at work in contemporary German cinema. For Dreileben, directors Christian Petzold (Yella, Jerichow), Dominik Graf (A Map of the Heart) and Christoph Hochhäusler (The City Below) have each made a feature-length film on the same general subject—the escape of a convicted criminal in a small central German town—but told from completely different points of view and in radically contrasting filmmaking styles: one as an offbeat youth romance, one as a Big Chill-style relationship drama, and one as a tense police procedural. Taken together, these compulsively watchable films make for generous entertainment and a fascinating exercise in the polymorphous possibilities of storytelling.
Part One: Beats Being Dead (<strong>Etwas Besseres als den Tod)
Christian Petzold | 2011 | Germany | 88m
A convicted killer, released under police custody to pay his last respects to his late mother, escapes from a country hospital at the start of director Christian Petzold’s genre-bending, wonderfully unpredictable Beats Being Dead. But the film soon comes to center on the story of two star-crossed lovers: Johannes (Jacob Matschenz), a shy young hospital orderly, and Bosnian refugee Ana (Luna Mijovic), whom Johannes nobly rescues from the clutches of her abusive biker boyfriend. In the background, a police manhunt proceeds apace, while in the foreground Petzold reminds us there is sometimes nothing as dangerous as first love.
Part Two: Don't Follow Me Around (Komm mir nicht nach)
Dominik Graf | 2011 | Germany | 88m
In the trilogy’s second chapter, Jo (Jeanette Hain), a big-city police psychologist, arrives in Dreileben to aid in the ongoing investigation, whereupon she finds herself greeted cooly by the local authorities but welcomed with open arms by Vera (Susanne Wolff), a college friend who lives nearby with her husband, a pretentious author. As the girlfriends reminisce about bygone days and discover they were both once in love with the same man, director Dominik Graf deftly juxtaposes their personal drama against the search for a killer, a police corruption scandal, and a possible case of interspecies transmutation—all underlining the trilogy’s recurring themes of false appearances and deeply hidden truths.
Part Three: One Minute of Darkness (Eine Minute Dunkel)
Christoph Hochhäusler | 2011 | Germany | 90m
The Dreileben trilogy comes to a nail-biting close with director Christoph Hochhäusler’s expert thriller, which also brings escaped felon Molosch—a peripheral character in the first two parts—into sharp focus. Hot on the killer’s trail, grizzled police inspector Marcus (Eberhard Kirchberg) tries to put himself inside the mind of the criminal, even as he begins to wonder if the condemned man really is guilty as charged. Meanwhile, as Molosch (brilliantly played by Stefan Kurt) flees deeper into Dreileben’s possibly enchanted forest, he has an unexpectedly tender encounter with a young runaway girl—scenes that echo the Frankenstein story and transform One Minute of Darkness into a dark, memorably strange fairy tale.
Why you should see Dreileben: NYFF Spotlight.