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Germany, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Strange New Worlds)

Director: Hans-Christoph Blumenberg

October 2020: mobile phone use and smoking are punishable by death. The collapse of the EU and a severe energy crisis have plunged Europe into poverty. A totalitarian government has seized power while two media giants control all entertainment. Television is giving people just what they want; a version of The Weakest Link where losers die by electrocution and a talk show hosted by a Hannibal Lecter-style cannibal killer.

This stylish sci-fi satire captivated audiences at both Rotterdam and Berlin Film Festivals. Shot in stark black-and-white and with production design that could best be described as A Clockwork Orange meets Forbidden Planet, the film's savage wit tears into media excesses without mercy.

Emma Trost, trend management director of Alphaplus, is given the mission of seeking out a subversive alien presence in the city. Her quest turns very nasty very quickly when covert image manipulation makes her look guilty of an assassination. While Emma would dearly love just to sneak a surreptitious ciggy and relax, she's drawn into a continental conspiracy of murder and media mayhem. A fun homage to American science fiction of the 50s with a dark soul.

Hans-Christoph Blumenberg (born in Brandenburg, 1947) worked for many years as a film critic and editor. He has written books on Howard Hawks and Robert Siodmak and directed 23 TV documentaries about cinema. Blumenberg made his feature debut in 1984 with Thousand Eyes and has completed another 16 films since!

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