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January, 2006 - Nr. 1


The Editor
Der Weihnachtsmann,
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Herwig Wandschneider
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Free Noon Hour Concert
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German Films Honoured
Opera York Fundraiser
New Films in Washington
Goodbye to Beloved Hippo
Castle Belleview Re-opened

U.S. Critics honor two German films

  TWIG - Two German favorites from 2005 have drawn the attention of the National Society of Film Critics of the United States, which last weekend announced its best films of 2005. Werner Herzog’s "Grizzly Man" won best documentary, while Fatih Akin’s "Head-On," was honored as best foreign language film.

Werner Herzog’s "Grizzly Man" explores a common theme in the revered director’s work - man’s interactions with nature.

It tackles the uncommon life of bear-lover and amateur naturalist Timothy Treadwell, who devoted much of his life to studying the creatures only to fall prey to a gruesome grizzly attack in his 13th summer among them.

Treadwell had filmed over 100 hours’ worth of bear activity in a remote area of Alaska, before he and a companion were attacked in their tent in 2003.

"Grizzly Man" laces together edited scenes from Treadwell’s source material - a kind of video diary of his life - along with Werner Herzog’s narration as he meets with Treadwell’s friends and confronts the landscape Treadwell chose to inhabit.

Though "Grizzly Men" had featured prominently in many critics’ end-of-the-year top ten films list, often as the only documentary, it wasn’t picked up for an Oscar nomination in the documentary category.

"Head-On" has already proved a critical and commercial success both in Germany and abroad, having won the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival.

The film by German-Turkish director Fatih Akin confronts the struggles of second generation Turkish immigrants to Germany, young people who have spent all of their lives in a Western nation but whose Muslim upbringing creates a cultural rift between them and the society they live in.

It is a love story that depicts two people on the brink of desperation, whose problems stem only in part from their cultural identity.

Both "Grizzly Man" and "Head-On" have been released on DVD.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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