German Film Festival

Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai
Date: 16th, 17th and 24th  November 2017


1. Zhu Xiao-Mei – How Bach Defeated Mao | 2014-16 | 58 min | Dir.: Paul Smaczny (16 Nov 2017 | 7.00 pm)

How Bach Defeated Mao is a quiet but compelling film about the tremendous power of music. It is a very personal film about the pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei, who personally experienced the Cultural Revolution and learned how art can be political, how owning a piano can be dangerous and how playing one of Bach’s Inventions can be potentially deadly. And yet, it is also at the same time a film about a new China, a country that is undergoing a process of change and is searching for meaning.

2. John Cage – Journeys in Sound | 2012 | 60 min | Dir.: Allan Miller & Paul Smaczny | (17 Nov 2017 | 7.00 pm)

Documentary by Oscar-winner Allan Miller and Emmy-winner Paul Smaczny pays tribute to the most fascinating American avant-garde composer John Cage. Shot in America, Germany and Japan, the program premieres rare archival footage; presenting concert excerpts and a set of short episodes, featuring associates of Cage and contemporary artists, playfully delineating different aspects of John Cage

3. Kaddish for a Friend – Kaddisch Fur Einen Freund | 2010-11 | 94 min | Dir.: Leo Khasin | (24 Nov 2017 | 6.00 pm)

A warm tale about an unlikely friendship between two lonely, displaced characters. Alexander is an 84-year-old Jewish war veteran who is desperate to remain living independently in his Berlin flat. Palestinian teenager Ali’s family arrive from a refugee camp in Lebanon, and to gain acceptance from his new peers, Ali agrees to break-in to his next-door neighbour’s flat. When Alexander comes back to his ransacked home, he recognises Ali, and to avoid being deported, Ali’s family send him back to repair the damage. As they work side by side, the relationship between the feisty pair flits between mutual dislike, understanding and finally friendship, when they realise that the fragile existence of each depends in a large part on the other. Inspired by a true story, Moscow-born, German director Leo Khasin’s debut is a stirring, coming-of-age story that shows just how hard unlearning prejudice can be.

Venue: Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai
Date: 16th, 17th and 24th  November 2017

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