In the co-organization of Restart, the Human Rights Film Festival and the Goethe-Institut Kroatien, on Wednesday, December 8, at 8 p.m., the German director Maria Speth will hold a masterclass lecture “Youth on film: between reality and fiction” on the occasion of the Croatian premiere of the award-winning documentary Mr. Bachmann and his class, winner The Silver Bear and the audience award at this year’s Berlinale.
Director Maria Speth will address the audience via Zoom, and the conversation will be moderated by film critic Nino Kovačić. The public will be able to follow the masterclass online or come live to Dokukino KIC. The director will hold the lecture in German, and the audience will be provided with a simultaneous translation into Croatian. Entry to the masterclass is free upon presentation of a COVID certificate and no prior registration is required, and it will be available online on the FB pages of Restart Documentary, Dokukino KIC, Goethe-Institut Kroatien and MaMa Zagreb.
“I wanted to give them star potential because for me they were my stars.” What better can a director say about his protagonists? But how to turn Berlin’s street children or sixth-graders of the Hessian gymnasium into stars of their own lives? How to turn an empty film studio or classroom into a world stage? In the oeuvre of Berlin-based director Marie Speth, born in 1967 in Titting, Bavaria, filmmaking provides an opportunity to immerse herself in other existential realities. Time and trust, research and space are the ideas around which her work revolves.
Discovering the potential and talents of children and young people beyond all clichés was also the subject of her documentary film 9 Life and three feature films Days Between, Madonna and Daughter. Together with his cinematographer Reinhold Vorschneider, in a fictitious format he offers his characters the freedom to act without pretense, beyond all social expectations. The reality of the environment enters the film, creating the interplay between reality and fiction that is characteristic of her oeuvre, as well as the need to confront her audience with “protagonists who are not very accessible”.
All this is evident in her film this year. As the director herself said in an interview earlier this year: “The students in Mr. Bachmann’s class come almost exclusively from the working class – their academic opportunities are limited, their life situations often precarious. They are not in the public eye and are often marginalized. I want to break the common prejudices these children are exposed to and show what potential they have. Children have so much strength and love in them. I hope this will remain in the memory of the viewers.”
The film Mr. Bachmann and her class will be shown on Wednesday, December 8 at 3 p.m. in the Tuškanac cinema and on Thursday, December 9 at 6 p.m. in Dokukin KIC.