Family dynamics heat up within a quiet forest

Last updated 12:03 11/10/2012

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Vacation (Ferien)
M, contains offensive language,
1 hr 31min
Directed by Thomas Arslan Germany 2007.

A sophisticated and supremely intelligent drama about three generations of a family coming together - and coming apart - at their vacation home in the lovely Uckermark region of Germany.

When Anna, Robert and their teenage son Max plan their summer vacation at their idyllic summer home, they didn't expect a lengthy visitation from their entire extended family. But that's exactly what happens as more and more relatives (Laura, Anna's daughter from her first marriage, with her partner Paul and their children, Anna's seriously ill mother, and finally Laura's sister Sophie) show up and make themselves at home.

At first everything goes swimmingly, people are on their best behaviour, but before long fissures begin to appear. Put enough family members in one place at one time and you have a recipe for combustion, and as secrets are revealed and feelings escalate the fate of one family hangs in the balance.

Thomas Arslan's film, with its close attention to family dynamics inside an enclosed space examines the tenuous surfaces that hide a world of complexity within the seeming quiet of the forest.

Presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut.

One screening, October 17, 6pm at Downtown Cinemas. Members only. Palmerston North Film Society membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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- Manawatu Standard

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