Directed by Valeska Grisebach • 2017 • Germany
Starring Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov
Valeska Grisebach’s intense, slow-burning thriller follows a group of German construction workers installing a hydroelectric plant in rural Bulgaria. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but tensions mount when Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), the strong, silent newcomer to the group, starts mixing with the local villagers. The two sides speak different languages and share a troubled history. Can they learn to trust each other—or is the stage being set for a showdown? With a visual language at once naturalistic and precise, Grisebach crafts a complex, tantalizingly open-ended tale of culture clash that toys masterfully with the mythic genre conventions its title evokes.