Leipzig cinemas finally start to awaken from their long hibernation! To ease the international crowd back into the hallowed halls of film, we put together the cream of the crop from this Kinowoche. These picks are, of course, all shown in the original with or without subtitles and we have already gotten the chance to watch each one in advance.
First off, one of the most celebrated films of the last year is finally available in German cinemas. Our top pick of the week is Nomadland by Chloe Zhao.
Chinese Director Zhao is known for her unique approach to dive deep into specific subcultures in the United States, familiarize and befriend these groups, and make her movie about their unique worlds. Her previous film, The Rider, was absolutely stunning because of this approach. It focused on the Lakota Sioux rodeo crowd living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and cast only people from this world with no acting experience. The authenticity and closeness her works achieve are peerless because she pulls this magic trick off so effortlessly.
In Nomadland, she also invites some famous actors to work alongside the film’s central subculture tribe, the modern-day nomads or vandwellers. Frances McDormand anchors the film as a recently unhoused widow whose hometown was unincorporated and stripped of its ZIP code after its central mine was shut down.
Now, she decides to make her living as a seasonal worker and vandweller, moving around the country at her own pace and meeting fellow nomads along the road.
McDormand and fellow professional actor Michael Straitharn do a good job to introduce the audience to this unique lifestyle, but once again, it is the community itself that lets the film truly shine. Real-life nomads like Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells steal the show every time they get to talk about their unique and authentic experiences and wisdom. Across gorgeous deserts and the Badlands National Park, Nomadland will show you a completely different side of US America. One that still makes the frayed nation feel like a brand-new world with endless space and beauty.
Another exciting new release, Judas and the Black Messiah is a two-hander by some of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars.
Daniel Kaluuya plays the Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. Meanwhile, his personal Judas, FBI informant Bill O’Neal is portrayed by Atlanta and Sorry to Bother You alumn Lakeith Stanfield. Both performances are worth the price of admission alone.
It is an incredible, real story about just how unfair and unjustified the fight between US authorities and the Black Panthers was fought. But its central, inevitable tragedy does not take away from humanity that both leads imbue in their characters. Perhaps the bigger achievement of both is Kaluuya’s Hampton, whose charisma and determination show just how powerful a public speaker can be.
You can catch the film at Passage Kinos every evening of the Kinowoche at 9 p.m.
Finally, we have to talk about the most successful Japanese film of all time.
Demon Slayer: Mugen Train – Mugen meaning something akin to infinity in Japanese – broke all the records at the cinema box office despite coming out during the pandemic. However, we have to stress that this movie would be solely recommended to fans of the Anime genre, or even more ideally fans of the Demon Slayer franchise.
The film covers the time between seasons 1 and 2 of the anime television show and might therefore be an unsatisfying watch for the uninitiated. However, if you are into anime fights and the classic Shōnen sensibilities, you will still enjoy yourself thoroughly.