After her previous film, Valeska Grisebach needed no less than eleven years to finish a new one. But Western was more than worth the wait: rarely has a film evoked the contours and challenges of today's Europe so poignantly. Just as her previous work, Grisebach's third feature-length film is the result of an extensive research process, in which she patiently searches for suitable locations and a cast of non-professional actors. For this film she found Petrelik, a hamlet in the south of Bulgaria that symbolizes the myth of the "Wild East", the perfect location to base her own interpretation of the western genre. Inspired by the ambivalent heroic figures in classical genre practices such as Anthony Mann's Winchester '73, the duelling neo-cowboys in Western are embodied by a group of German construction workers who, in their confrontation with the foreign, waver between curiosity and paranoia, between a desire towards communality and a fear of the unknown. That's how Grisebach's self-proclaimed "dance with the western" touches on a number of issues that are central to the European debate today, including the "gold rush" to the East, a theme that also resounds throughout another film from the so-called Berliner Schule: Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, on which it's no coincidence that Grisebach collaborated as a script consultant.
The screening is followed by a conversation with Valeska Grisebach.
In collaboration with Courtisane, Cinematek, KASK, de Onderzoeksgroep Algemene Literatuurwetenschap en Culturele Studies, Lieven Gevaert Centre & het Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte (KU Leuven). Supported by Goethe-Institut Brüssel.
FREE without reservation
Tickets 1 hour before the screening at STUK Reception