Germany, 102 min
Dir: Hans-Christian Schmid
Official Selection — 2003 Tribeca Film Festival
Winner — FIPRESCI Prize, 2003 Berlin Film Festival
Winner — Silver Film Award, 2003 German Film Awards
To some it’s the end of the world, to others it’s the gateway to a new life: the river Oder between Poland and Germany. Vibrant with expectancy, this place is a magnet for people on a journey towards happiness, security and a better life. At this crossroads between two worlds Ukrainian refugees beg and bargain for entry to the West and pin all their hopes on Polish help; a teen-aged cigarette smuggler defies his father and brother to free the girl he loves from a detention center; an interpreter risks her career and her freedom to help an illegal refugee; and, a hapless businessman loses everything he owns but gains something more important. On the banks of the Oder, the law of the land is that of pure self-preservation as men and women struggle to maintain their dignity and values while they are stripped to the raw core of their existence. While some hopes and dreams are doomed, others come to pass with the quiet joy of a small and humble miracle.
“This ambitious, engrossing multi-strand drama flits back and forth across the German-Polish border, finding desperate Eastern European refugees on one side, economic recession on the other, cynicism and corruption in between. Schmid's moving film asks what responsibilities we have to our impoverished neighbours, but more than that, posits 21st century capitalism as morally and socially bankrupt.” - Time Out London
Both broadcasts followed by the Academy Award-winning short film Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer) by Pepe Danquart, Germany, 12 minutes. Winner — 1994 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short; Winner — Best Short Film, Toronto Film Festival; Winner — City of Melbourne Award for Best Short Fiction, 1993 Melbourne International Film Festival; Winner — Best Short Film, 1993 Valladolid Film Festival; Official Selection — 1993 Berlinale.
Link TV's CINEMONDO is a nationally broadcast, ground breaking world cinema series hosted and co-curated by Peter Scarlet, Artistic Director, Tribeca Film Festival (2003-2008), now Executive Director of the Middle East International Film Festival. CINEMONDO brings international cinema with great artistic, cultural and political value to the living rooms of Link TV’s American audiences.
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