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The violence of the dogs, Respect, A Pure Place, Becoming Cousteau


Aretha Franklin also demands respect in the cinema, Jane Campion turns Benedict Cumberbatch into a cowboy - and a cult leader out of children slaves: These are the current film tips for cinema, streaming and media libraries.

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Production design from "The violence of the dogs"

Photo: LMKMEDIA / ddp / LMKMEDIA Ltd.

From November 25th in the cinema


Aretha Franklin (1942 to 2018) was not only one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, her life was also a great drama. The daughter of a well-known black preacher grew up prosperous, but she lost her mother at an early age and became one too quickly, having her first son at the age of twelve. She became a star young, married a man who beat her, struggled with alcoholism and her weight - and turned her experiences into some of pop's greatest songs.

Liesl Tommy's film


takes up some of this. Aretha Franklin herself suggested Jennifer Hudson as the leading actress. And indeed: when Hudson enters the church towards the end of the film to record the famous gospel album "Amazing Grace", she has exactly the mixture of self-confidence, spirituality and vulnerability of the real Aretha. Forest Whitaker gives Aretha's father as a kind-hearted brute - the film only suggests that Aretha fled from her authoritarian father into the arms of her violent husband. He wants to tell the successful story of an emancipation, but shrinks from its abysses. "You're going to get an Oscar, will you?" Franklin said to Hudson when they first met. The chances are good.

Tobias Rapp

»Respect«, USA 2020. Director: Liesl Tommy, book: Tracey Scott Wilson.

Starring: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Tituss Burgess, Audra McDonald.

145 minutes

"The violence of the dogs"

Netflix has come up with a very strange release strategy for its Oscar favorite

»The Violence of the Dogs«

: Jane Campion's subversive western can now be seen without regular distribution and without official advertising, i.e. practically secretly in almost two dozen cinemas in Germany. The film will start on the streaming platform on December 1st. The masterful narrative of self-hatred and toxic masculinity will also unfold its irresistible psychological pull in the home theater. But if you have the opportunity, you should look at the pictures on the big screen by camerawoman Ari Wegner, who turns Campion's home New Zealand into a rough, poetic Montana.

Even more impressive than Wegner's panoramas, however, is the play by leading actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

No cowboy has ever been so fascinatingly nasty.

As the rancher Phil, he terrorizes his brother and his family by-laws to the point of collapse.

What is behind it, Campion lets both her audience and her characters guess - and both should be equally amazed by the resolution, so brilliant and brutal she is.

(Read the detailed review of "The Violence of Dogs" here)

Hannah Pilarczyk

"The Violence of Dogs", NZ / USA 2021. Written and directed by Jane Campion.

With: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee.

126 minutes

"A Pure Place"

It's been six years since Nikias Chryssos unsettled German cinema with his gently grotesque debut film »The Bunker«. So enough time to adjust to "A Pure Place", a psychedelic farce about a sect leader and the cleanliness fantasies with which he seduces his followers and especially followers.

On an island, hidden but not very far away from the dystopian rubbish of the big cities, Guru Fust (Sam Louwyck) leads his cult of soap and self-optimization. But there is never enough offspring, especially for the literal dirty work in the sect's own factory, which is why Fust has children kidnapped in order to enslave them. When one of the kidnapped children grows up to be a beautiful young woman and Fust is supposed to be in other positions, the servants revolt for the first time. An overly productive exploration of exploitative conditions and charismatic leaders should not be expected from "A Pure Place", rather a wild game with set pieces from Visconti's baroque epics and Duke's jungle escapades. It may take another six years for this strange film to sag.

Hannah Pilarczyk

"A Pure Place" D / GR 2019. Written and directed by Nikias Chryssos.

With: Sam Louwyck, Paul Heinrich, Greta Brohacek, Daniel Sträßer.

90 minutes

from now on in streaming and in the media libraries:

"Becoming Cousteau" (on Apple +)

High time to remember the legendary oceanographer, adventurer, bon vivant, environmental activist and film artist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

It's been a long time since his documentary series “Secrets of the Sea” was a regular on ARD and ZDF.

And his classic film »The Silent World«, for which the Golden Palm was awarded to a documentary for the first time at the Cannes Festival in 1956, is currently neither available on DVD nor as a stream in Germany.

Also to be seen at the moment

  • Movie about gays in post-war Germany: "He who forbids love, also forbids life" by Hannah Pilarczyk

  • Netflix drama "Seitenwechsel": The Oscar season has startedBy Oliver Kaever

  • Films of the week: I am your monster

Cousteau is more relevant today than ever in his role as a reminder for more consideration for the interests of nature. In her documentary about the captain of the legendary research ship »Calypso«, who died in 1997, the accomplished American documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus traces the long journey that he himself had to cover in order to become aware of the devastating destructive power of humans in their interaction with nature. In »The Silent World« one can still observe how Cousteau and his men let themselves be dragged by sea turtles and kill a whale. It was not until the 1960s that he was perceived as an ever louder voice for the protection of the seas. In general, Garbus did not create a heroic story, but a nuanced portrait,which does not spare the conflict and dark sides of Cousteau. Above all, however, it evokes a feeling similar to that of Cousteau's series and films: you dream on board the »Calypso« with a view of the deep blue sea and ponder the wonders and secrets that may be hidden there.

Oliver Kaever

»Becoming Cousteau«, USA 2021. Director: Liz Garbus.

91 minutes

»We« (in the Arte media library)

Along the tracks of a train that travels across Paris from the outskirts, Alice Diop dares

to show a cross-section of the French population

in her award-winning documentary film


(original title: »Nous«).

Teenagers chatting, seniors taking care of them, a homeland club taking care of tradition: Diop's observations are precise, humorous and empathetic.

But whether all of this results in a "we" is the big question in her film, because often enough the filmmaker, being black, felt excluded from the much-claimed "we" of the French majority society. What does she find about herself and, above all, about the story of her father, who immigrated from Senegal in the sixties, in the great community story of France? Where does this have to be supplemented and where does it need to be corrected? Where are their own blind spots? Diop's film shows a filmmaker thinking and listening and invites you to do the same. After »Wir« was shown at this year's Berlinale and won the main prize in the Encounters series, the film can now be seen in the Arte media library as part of the broadcaster's own documentary film festival.

Hannah Pilarczyk

»Wir« F 2021. Script and direction: Alice Diop.

115 minutes

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-11-25

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