OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

German Language Filmfest: Crossing Boundaries

(Grenzgänger)

Presented by the Embassies of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in Ottawa as part of the German-Language FilmFest

In rural Austria, Hans (Andreas Lust) and Jana (Andrea Wenzl), a Slovak by birth, live in a remote house by a river and operate a coffee house and bar on the ground floor. Hans, a third-generation fisherman, dreams of putting up a real guesthouse on the premises, possibly with a golf course attached to it, and hopes his smuggling of illegal refugees across the river will provide the money he needs for his project. Jana tacitly encourages and assists him, probably out of her empathy for the refugees more than anything else.

The third person in this classic triangle is Ronny (Stefan Pohl), a young soldier sent from Vienna to man one of the observation posts on the border and prevent any illegal attempt to cross.

German Language FilmfestHans would like Jana to keep Ronny busy during the late-night smuggling hours, while Ronny’s commander suggests he should court Jana to help catch Hans red-handed. Understandably,  Jana would like some real affection and consideration, instead of being treated by both men as an exploitable object. Although neither Jana nor Ronny are at first very enthusiastic about their assigned roles, they both give in without any visible resistance, entering the kind of game that never has a happy ending.

– Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily

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