One of the only stereotypes that exists about DC that is tolerable, and actually mostly really awesome, is that we're an international city. We're home to a world of embassies and consulates and have some of the best Ethiopian (Little Ethiopia) and Vietnamese food (Eden Center) in the nation. And now, for 20 years running the Washington FIlm Institute, in conjunction with the Goethe-Institut, is bring in the best films from Germany, Switzerland and Austria via its Film NEU Festival.
Running from tomorrow through next Thursday, Jan. 26, the Festival will feature 14 films, two of which will be part of its opening weekend festivities this Saturday.
First up, at E Street Cinema, there's Bastard. Straight out of Germany, this film is about a viral video that shows a 9-year-old boy being held captive in a creepy basement. Intrigue and mystery ensues when criminal psychologist Claudia Meinert (played by Martina Gedeck) starts making inquiries. I won't spoil one second of the rest, but I will say this film will probably make you a fan of its 33-year-old director, Carsten Unger, who finds himself now being compared to Roman Polanski (ahem, for his filmmaking, not his social life). Bonus: he'll be there with the film's producer Reza Bahar to discuss the film afterwards.
Screening time: Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Next up, there's Sleeping Sickness, another German-made film from 2011. This plot follows Dutch-born doctor Ebbo (played by Pierre Bokma), as he becomes obsessed with curing a disease in Africa known as "sleeping sickness." Brace yourself for major drama (or perhaps just imbibe a bit more wine at the reception directly before you sit down for the viewing), because this one will take you places.
Screening time: Jan. 21, 9:15 p.m. at E Street Cinema
You may have noticed I mentioned a reception with wine. That'll take place at the Goethe-Institut while the two above-mentioned screenings are happening. That means, you can attend before or after whatever screening you choose. Just remember, purchase your tickets in advance. They're $21 for a film and reception entrance and $12 for just the reception. Click here to buy.
And don't fret if you can't attend this weekend. Check the full listing of all the show times here.