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Masculine tensions reaching boiling point in this sizzling, brilliantly observed western, where migrant German construction workers are pitched against villagers in remotest Bulgaria.

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Dir-Scr Valeska Grisebach
Prod Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade, Valeska Grisebach, Michel Merkt
With Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov
UK Distribution New Wave Films

Valeska Grisebach follows her 2006 award-winner Longing with a contemporary western in which tensions mount between German construction workers and Bulgarian villagers in a small rural town. Camped above the isolated town, the workers divert the local water supply, boorishly intimidate women and exacerbate tempers by flying a German flag above their camp (flaring age-old national resentments). Lanky loner Meinhardt stays aloof, preferring the company of the locals, finding a connection despite the lack of verbal communication. However, it’s when the white horse that Meinhardt borrows from townsman Adrian goes missing, that tempers finally fray. Grisebach’s exquisitely taut film explores the dynamics of all-male environments; masculinity is a language, albeit a rudimentary one, that can be culturally specific and ripe for misunderstanding. With expertly observed micro-dramas amidst the gorgeously photographed countryside, Western features melancholy and menace in equal measure, providing a memorable and unique addition to the genre.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

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

  • Valeska Grisebach, 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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