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October 2003 - Nr. 10

 

The Editor
To the Editor
Antje berichtet
Vienna Connection
Zurich Connection
Toronto Connection
Letzte Kraftanstrengung
KW and Beyond
Filmfest Stories
With Anton Kuerti
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Herwig Wandschneider
German-American Day
Stephen Harper Statement
Essay Contest
Old German Tradition
President Rau's Message
Echo-Lines
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehŲrt?
TSO & Lars Vogt on Piano
TSO: Composer Wanted
TSO - Boris Berezovsky
Dietrich & the Phone
Wins "Golden Shell"
Reubens Returned
Financial Advice
Frauenkirche Unveiled

German film wins
the "Golden Shell"

  TWIG - A German film has struck gold at the San SebastiŠn film festival, becoming the first German film ever to win Spainís highest cinematic honor, the Golden Shell. "Schussangst" ("Gun Shy"), directed by Georgian-born director Dito Tsintsadze, is based on the book of the same name by Dirk Kurbjuweit.

The honor is not the first for Tsintsadze, whose film repertoire includes "On the Verge," awarded the Silver Leopard at the Locarno film festival (1993), and "Lost Killers," which earned an honorable mention at Cannes (2000). The director describes "Schussangst" as a "poetic thriller, the story of a metamorphosis."

Walking a fine line between the surreal and the darkly-comic, it tells the story of a Lukas, a troubled young man who vehemently opposes joining the German army.

After deciding against army duty, which is one of two options for recently-graduated young men in Germany, Lukas begins his year of civil service delivering meals-on-wheels for elderly and sick people in Hamburg. A pacifist, he spends his evenings alone rowing down a river. He soon falls in love with Isabella, a strangely intriguing young woman whose melancholy matches his own. But following a theft at a boat house, Lukasís world is overturned when he becomes the subject of a police investigation. As Isabella gradually begins to distance herself from him, and pressure mounts to clear himself of the crime, Lukas turns to violence.

"Schussangst" was not a favorite to win at the festival and had been discounted by many critics before receiving the award. Tsintsadze defended his low-budget work. "Life is contradictory, and cinema should be a mirror of this," he said.

The San SebastiŠn film festival is the largest cinematic event in Spain and ranks among the most important film festivals in Europe.

 

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