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Life Guidance

Happiness is an emotion shared by all in this world, but when one man questions his existence, the penalty can be deadly.


Dir Ruth Mader
Prod Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Scr Ruth Mader, Martin Leidenfrost
With Fritz Karl, Katharina Lorenz, Florian Teichtmeister
Prod Co KGP Kranzelbinder Gabriele Production

Ruth Mader’s fascinating, restrained dystopian drama envisages a society where everyone is happy and fulfilled – just as long as they follow the rules. In the near-future, a state of perfect capitalism is sustained by a social class of high achievers. They live cheerfully, their lives the exemplar of exacting efficiency. When one of them questions his situation, he comes to the attention of Life Guidance, an agency dedicated to the optimisation of humankind. So begins his painful realisation of the dark and perfidious system that supports his kind. But by rebelling against Life Guidance’s advice, he risks everything. At a time when our lives become more and more transparent and accessible, Mader (last at LFF2012 with What Is Love) challenges the notion of universal surveillance. If we’re told how to behave and think, we may lose our individuality. Her film examines our ever-growing desire for self-optimisation and, in doing so, Mader brilliantly blurs the line between reality and fiction.

Juliane Grieb

Additional information

This film will only screen with English subtitles and not with Audio Description or Hearing Impaired Subtitles as previously advertised. We apologise for any disappointment caused.

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Ruth Mader, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

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