WHOAMI: From Hero to Zero (German Film Week 2016)


Moviegoers and film enthusiasts in the Philippines will now have the opportunity to see firsthand the newest releases in contemporary German cinema in the German Film Week this week.

The film week, the first in the country, is organized by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen in partnership with Ayala Cinemas and was made possible with the help of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

The event will showcase works of various themes and genres, ranging from classic themes of family, love, loyalty and adventure to grittier issues of coping with the past and identity.

Ulrich Nowak, the newly-appointed director of the Goethe-Institut Philippinen, told attendees of the Film Week’s opening that the event will show other dimensions of German cinema.

“The German Film Week will hopefully change the perception of viewers towards the ‘grey’ atmosphere of German films,” Nowak said.

The opening title for the Week is techno-thriller WHO AM I – No System is Safe (WHO AM I – Kein System ist sicher), a 2014 hit that became the first German thriller to rank first in cinemas since the ’80s.

The film is a gripping tale of pizza delivery boy Benjamin who stumbles upon the hacker group CLAY and helps them in their “quest” to “stardom. Unfortunately, Benjamin’s involvement with the group opens doors to both the dark underworld of hacking and the reality of dabbling into privacy, cybercrime, and criminality.

The film was originally screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, and was directed by Baran bo Odar.

German Film Week 2016
The first German Film Week in the Philippines is organized by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen with the goal of promoting German cinema in the country.

Other films to look forward to are the following:

  • 24 Weeks is a emotional drama about a successful comedian who must make terms with her life as she faces the birth of her second child. She decided she must brave some decisions of her life alone, despite the image she has with her family and with the entertainment business.
  • As We Were Dreaming is an exciting coming of age tale set just after the collapse of East Germany. A group of friends must deal with the new realities of a newly-reunited country as they realize their dreams. The film explores the story of lost youth, rebellion, and a dream of great happiness.
  • Labyrinth of Lies tells the story of a public official that gets himself tangled in a web of repression, denial and idealization. Moviegoers will accompany a newly-hired prosecutor across boundaries. In search for the truth, he breaks and reforms relationships with friends, colleagues and allies.
  • Stations of the Cross is a tale of a young girl struggling to live a moral, religious life. However, her desperation to please everyone proves harder as her feelings conflict with her desire to show her love for God. Her journey is stylized with the Stations of the Cross, and her enlightenment associated with each of them.
  • The Dark Side of the Moon is a story of a finance attorney busy with his life of corporate merges and business deals. However, a trip with hallucinogenic mushrooms show him a “darker” side of reality, and makes him question everything he ever believed.
  • Rough Road Ahead is a black and white spectacle of two lovers that are desperately trying to run away from the past. When they thought their lives will get normal a decade later, ghosts of the past will once again test just how long they can stand the test of time.
  • Head Full of Honey is a delightful tale of a grand-daughter’s love for her grandfather. When Tilda discovers her grandfather Amandus is to be moved in a nursing home because of dementia, she “kidnaps” him and brings him on a final trip to Venice.
  • Wild tells the story of a woman who befriends a wild wolf. Her time with her new “friend” helped her carve a new identity, and the film explores her revelations with her new “self” – and the world’s new perception of her new lifestyle.
  • I’m Off Then is an emotional comedy about a sabbatical – and just that. Comedian and TV star Hape decides to take a leave and embark on a pilgrimage on the St. James’ Way. His journey will help him discover parts of himself he did not know he have, and realizes that maybe the journey does matter more than the destination.
  • Hördur is a story about a conflicted Aylin who develops a fondness for a stubborn iceland horse named Hördur. The horse helps her cope with the difficulties of her life, but her friendship with Hördur will make her deal with tougher challenges ahead.
  • Meteor Street is a coming of age tale about a young Palestenian who fled the war in Lebanon and finds himself in Germany. Amid his work and apprenticeship, heroic stories, good advice and his own memories, the young Mohammed must decide for himself what it truly means to be a man.
  • Colonia is a true-to-life story about a couple that stumbled upon the Chilean coup in 1973. When Daniel finds himself trapped inside an interrogation camp of a German sect, Lena infiltrates the group in a desperate act to save her lover.

Cinema lovers will be able to view the films this week until next week, September 22 (Thursday) to 27 (Tuesday) in Glorietta and TriNoMa. The German Film Week will then move to selected locations in Baguio, Cebu and Davao for regional releases.

View the next page for What’s A Geek’s review of WHO AM I.  SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD. Tread carefully.

Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.

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