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Scene from THE CITY BELOW (photo © Heimatfilm GmbH/Tom Trambow)

A by-chance meeting at a mandatory cultural event. Roland Cordes, 55, member of the board of a large bank, meets the wife of a new employee: Svenja Steve, 33.

There is an immediate attraction between the two. When a bank manager is murdered in Indonesia, Cordes seizes his chance: he suggests Svenja’s husband Oliver for the position, even though there are better qualified people to take the job. But Cordes’ power is far-reaching and Oliver is transferred to Jakarta. From the fleeting meeting a affair develops that becomes more and more existential in nature. When Cordes’ scheme is exposed, however, Svenja suddenly ends the relationship. Deeply hurt, Cordes almost loses his mind. At the same time in Jakarta: Oliver is being threatened. Svenja begs him to return. In a dramatic night, Cordes gives up his position on the board of directors, Svenja jogs through a park at night, and Oliver stops to reflect for the first time in his life ... It is morning. We see a hotel room: Svenja and Cordes, two players who can’t keep away from each other...

Christoph Hochhäusler 's works have premiered in Berlin (Forum, Competition) and in Cannes (Un Certain Regard). Aside from filmmaking, he has published essays in several film journals, and he lectures in the film departments of various universities in the USA and Germany, such as Harvard (VES), Hamburg (Media School), Munich (HFF) and Berlin (DFFB). He is also founder and co-publisher of the film magazine Revolver. Born in 1972 in Munich, he studied Architecture in Berlin before graduating in Film Directing at the University of Film & Television Munich (HFF). His feature films include: DREILEBEN - ONE MINUTE OF DARKNESS (TV, 2011), THE CITY BELOW (2010), the episode SÉANCE in DEUTSCHLAND 09 (2009), LOW PROFILE (2005), THIS VERY MOMENT (2003), and THE LIES OF THE VICTORS (DIE LÜGEN DER SIEGER, 2014).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2010
Director Christoph Hochhäusler
Screenplay Ulrich Peltzer, Christoph Hochhäusler
Cinematography Bernhard Keller
Stefan Stabenow
Benedikt Schiefer
Tim Pannen
Cast Mark Waschke, Nicolette Krebitz, Robert Hunger-Bühler
Producer Bettina Brokemper
Production Company Heimatfilm/Cologne
Length 110 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Cannes 2010 (Un Certain Regard), Munich 2010, Thessaloniki 2010, Rotterdam 2011, CPH PIX 2011, San Francisco 2011, Cambridge 2011
Awards Foerderpreis Deutscher Film 2010 (Best Screenplay) Munich 2010
With backing from German Federal Film Fund, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, HessenInvestFilm
German Distributor Piffl Medien/Berlin

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