Sophie SchollEvery year for the last quarter century, New York's Museum of Modern Art has run Kino!, a short, thorough program of recent German cinema; the 2005 edition has just begun. Scheduled to run through November 10, the series manages to cover an incredible amount of ground across only eight features and a single program of shorts.

Among the features are the multiple award-winning comedy Go for Zucker!, Henry Ries - Walking in Berlin, which brings respected documentarian Manfred Wilhelms to the US for the first time, and  Science Fiction, a "metaphysical fantasy without special effects...in the tradition of Groundhog Day and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." In addition to these works by established directors, MoMA is also showing a collection of short films from students at five German film schools, thus offering a rare looking into the future of the country's cinema.

Closing Kino! this year is Germany's entry into the Academy's Best Foreign Film selection pool: Sophie Scholl - the Final Days. The movie, which tells the true story of a student who stood up to the Nazi government and was executed for her audacity, is an awesome piece of filmmaking. Using actual transcripts from Scholl's interrogations, director Marc Rothemund and his flawless cast have produced a film that is thrilling, inspiring, and profoundly affecting - overwhelmingly depressing and incredibly uplifting, all at the same damn time. Though Sophie Scholl has, happily, been picked up for a US theatrical run by Zeitgeist Films, it won't be released until late winter or early spring of 2006 - readers in New York should take advantage of this opportunity to see it early.
categories Cinematical