German cinema comes into Fokus

German cinema comes into Fokus

Run Lola Run

Films from Germany season hits cinemas across the country

The ineffable cool of Berlin might seem a cliché if it wasn’t for the regular stream of brilliant film-makers who found their muse in Germany’s capital city. The centerpiece of Fokus: Films from Germany, a programme of new and vintage cinema touring across Scotland, is Victoria, a stunning thriller from actor-turned-director Sebastian Schipper. Victoria has a unique premise; the entire 138 minute film is short in one continuous take as dawn breaks over Berlin.

Having appeared in the similarly groundbreaking Run Lola Run, Schipper coaxes high-octane performance levels from his young cast as they scramble through hard-core clubbing, a violent heist, a piano recital, a kidnapping, and a police-shoot-out, with a tender, bitter-sweet love story between Victoria (Laia Costa) and Sonne (Frederick Lau) at the heart of the story. Not out until April 2016, Victoria is a blistering slice of modern cinema that commands attention.

Other new work includes documentary B Movie: Lust & Sound In West Berlin (pictured) which deals with the post-punk scene that exploded in the 1980s faster than you can say Einstürzende Neubauten. And a restrospective tribute to Rainer Werner Fassbinder includes not only the brilliantly shot (by Martin Scorsese’s regular cinematographer Michael Ballhaus) Fox and His Friends, but also Baal, his rarely-screened 1970 version of the classic Brecht text beloved by Berlin’s adoptive son David Bowie. With footballing hamster action in family-friendly film My Friend Raffi offering light relief, Fokus offers a strong-enough cinematic selection to make Berliners of us all.

Scotland-wide, Fri 20 Nov–Tue 15 Dec.

Fokus: Films from Germany

A Scotland-wide event showcasing innovative, inspiring and challenging films from Germany.


  • 5 stars
  • 2015
  • Germany
  • 2h 18min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Sebastian Schipper
  • Cast: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski
  • UK release: 1 April 2016

Victoria (Costa), a Spanish girl holidaying in Berlin, is heading home after a night of clubbing when she falls in with Sonne (Lau) and becomes embroiled in his gang's criminal activities. Sensational, breathless thriller shot entirely in one take, with the technique perfectly in tune with the adrenalised story.