The Goethe-Institut Toronto is presenting its October film series, Stronger Than Blood, featuring three outstanding and complex German gangster films over the last two decades. DEALER (1999) by Thomas Asan, CHIKO (2008) by Ozgur Yildirim, and STRONGER THAN BLOOD (2009) by Oliver Kienle.
Jutta Brendemühl, Goethe-Institut Toronto’s Program Curator, met with me to talk about current German cinema, selecting the films in this latest series, and much more.
Stronger Than Blood Series Lineup
Written and directed by Thomas Arslan
A story of Turkish life in Berlin, Can (Tamer Yigit) is unable to devote himself to anything other than a career in crime as a small-time dealer and errand boy for drug boss Hakan (Hussi Kutlucan). Hakan keeps his customers supplied within his narrowly staked out territory. Can, also fed up with his situation, sees a bright new beginning for himself and his family when Hakan offers him the prospective chance to run a bar on his own. But Can has little control over the pressure that gradually begins to build up around him and soon finds himself floundering in quicksand.
Written and directed by Özgur Yildirim
Stopping at nothing and intimidating those who get in his way, Chiko (Denis Moschitto) earns the attention of local drug lord Brownie (Moritz Bleibtreu). The money begins to flow and it looks as though Chiko and his friends are getting closer to the lifestyle they desire. But when one of the friends makes a mistake, Chiko is forced to decide between his criminal career & money on the one side and friendship & loyalty on the other.
STRONGER THAN BLOOD (2010)
Written and directed by Oliver Kienle
Tommy (Lennart Betzgen) and Sule (Tan Ipekkaya) are like brothers to each other: nothing will ever get between them. But then Tommy gets caught dealing drugs and has to serve his sentence. Fresh out of juvenile prison, he swears off drugs for good. But when the going gets tough, the only support he finds is from his best friend Sule, who presents him “the master plan”: one last drug deal to finance their own auto body shop.
The Stronger Than Blood film series will screen at TIFF Bell Lightbox, October 3, 8, and 10, 2019 at 6:30pm. For full details and advanced tickets, please visit tiff.net.