This morning Jonathan Jackson and his film fest team announced the Passport program for the fifth Milwaukee Film Fest. This year's program will feature films from and about Germany. Jackson, the artistic and executive director of the festival tells Milwaukee Magazine that the reason they chose to focus on is Germany because of Milwaukee's own Germanic heritage and because the fest crew's admiration for the Berlin Film Festival, one of the most popular international film festivals.
The Passport program features eight German films that explore different cinematic styles and genres. So what is Jackson most excited for? Well, that's hard to say. Because it seems he loves all of them. From Margarethe von Trotta's Hannah Arendt, a biopic about the German-Jewish political philosopher, to Lore, Cate Shortland's tale of three siblings who must traverse hundreds of miles of Bavaria after their Nazi parents are imprisoned, the program will certainly touch on Germany's darkest era. But it won't dwell.
(Full disclosure: Milwaukee Magazine is a sponsor of the Passport program, which is now in its third year).
Trailer: Hannah Arendt
Because the point of the program is emphasize the range in German cinema. And Alexa Karolinski's Oma & Bella does just that. It's a documentary of two 80-somethings who live together in present-day Berlin and use their cooking skills and camaraderie to work through their memories and preserve their heritage.
Trailer: Oma & Bella
Also in the passport program are Yasemin Samdereli's Almanya, Welcome to Germany, Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr's Ludwig II, Jan Ole Gerster's Oh Boy (the best film at the Lolas, "Germany's answer to the Oscars"), Marten Persiel's This Ain't California (a "hybrid documentary*" about Germany's skateboarding culture), and Wim Wender's Wings of Desire.
The film fest kicks off Sept. 26 and ends Oct. 10. You can purchase tickets here.
*In this case, hybrid documentary means that the film was shot to look like a documentary, but it is in fact fictionalized.