A Perfect PlaceBerlin Film Festival 2015
Freshly crowned with the Award Dialogue en Perspective at the Berlinale 2015 Independent Juries ceremony, director Anatol Schuster’s short, A Perfect Place (Ein Idealer Ort) will now stand out from programmes at future festivals with a deserved glow of gravitas.
The prize was awarded by a jury of young people from the FGYO (the French-German Youth Office), and in announcing their winner, the panel identified the film’s “genuine interest in the phenomena of migration from to the city from the countryside”. This central theme is invoked by the compelling tale of Frank (Matthias Neukirch) and his family. Haunted by some recent but unspoken tragedy, the household has been pitched into a state of weary turmoil as the arrival of an enormous factory farm on their doorstep raises the threat of an enforced relocation – an issue on which opinions within the clan are clearly split.
Beautifully shot so as to contrast the dark coldness of its all-but-abandoned village setting with the lush summer palette of surrounding nature in full bloom, the visual impact in particular is as profound as any full length feature you are likely to see this year. Factor in too a soundtrack that skilfully plays the funereal music that Frank practices in his community brass band against the driving techno preferred by his polyamorous daughter Anna (Raja Rexin): the effect is to underline with acoustic poignancy the emotional draw of both pastoral and the urban existences – the potential futures standing either side of a family in limbo. The art produced by Anna’s daydreaming younger brother Otto (Lukas Kűhl) is also presented with a care that highlights its worth, while the monetary value of the walls on which it hangs is fretted over.
While clocking in at just under 40 minutes in length, the film fires a multi-faceted barrage upon the senses that ensures it will linger far longer in the minds of its audience.
A Perfect Place does not yet have a UK release date.
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