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photo courtesy of Schiwago Film

Niko is in his late 20s and recently dropped out of college. He lives for the moment, drifting sleeplessly through the streets of Berlin, marvelling at the people around him. With a quiet curiosity, he observes how they cope with everyday life while failing to notice how he himself is becoming an outsider. But, one day, everything changes, and Niko is forced to confront the consequences of his inaction. His girlfriend ends their relationship, his father cuts off his allowance and a psychiatrist diagnoses him with an ‘emotional imbalance’. Meanwhile a peculiar beauty from his past confronts him with the emotional wounds he inflicted, his new neighbor – accompanied by meatballs and Schnapps – pours his heart out and, throughout the city, there doesn’t seem to be a single cup of ‘normal’ coffee available.

“Do you know the feeling when people around you seem to behave strangely? And the longer you think about it, the more it dawns on you that it’s not other people who are strange, but yourself?” Niko’s epiphany, however, is immediately, abruptly interrupted when he’s forced to stand up to a rowdy gang of teenagers, and a night-time encounter with an old man not only personifies his own loneliness but also demonstrates how the city’s history continues to assert itself.
Genre Tragicomedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2012
Director Jan-Ole Gerster
Screenplay Jan-Ole Gerster
Cinematography Philipp Kirsamer
Cast Tom Schilling, Friederike Kempter, Marc Hosemann, Katharina Schüttler, Justus von Dohnányi, Andreas Schröders, Arnd Klawitter, Martin Brambach, Frederick Lau, Ulrich Noethen, Michael Gwisdek
Producers Marcos Kantis, Alexander Wadouh
Production Company Schiwago Film, in co-production with Chromosom Film, HR/Frankfurt, in cooperation with ARTE
Runtime 85 min
Format b&w
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Karlovy Vary 2012, Munich 2012, Oldenburg 2012, Zurich 2012, Sao Paulo 2012, AFI Fest L.A. 2012, Tallinn Black Nights 2012, IFF Bratislava 2012, plus Camerimage 2012, Marrakech2012, Angers 2013, Rotterdam 2013, Guadalajara 2013, Istanbul 2013, Sofia 2013, Edinburgh 2013, Sydney 2013 (In Competition), Shanghai 2013, Giffoni 2013, Milwaukee 2013, Hamptons 2013, Hawaii International Film Festival 2013, Bratislava 2013, Brisbane 2013, Mill Valley 2013, Palm Springs 2014, Festroia 2014, Cambridge 2014, Zlín 2015, Karlovy Vary 2017, Les Arcs 2017, Sao Paulo 2019
Awards Best Screenplay Award Munich 2012, Best Film & Audience Award, Seymour Cassel Award Oldenburg 2012, Special Mention for director Jan Ole Gerster Zurich 2012, Best Director, FIPRESCI Jury Award & Fedeora Jury Award Bratislava 2012, Red Hering Award & Audience Award Tallinn 2012, Bavarian Film Prize 2012 (Best Actor: Tom Schilling & Best Screenplay), Special Jury Prize and Audience Award Angers 2013, Focus Fox Grand Prix Sofia 2013, German Film Awards 2013 (Best Film: Gold, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Score)
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, BKM

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