Skip to main content

DISTANT LIGHTS

Germany, 2003 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Hans Christian Schmid

The winner of the FIPRESCI prize at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Distant Lights is a tender humanist portrart of a group of people finding their way in a world of moral ambiguity.

The German-Polish border is marked by the Oder river and divides two very different towns— the relatively wealthy Frankfurt-on-Oder and its poorer Polish cousin, Sublice. The towns are populated by, and entice, a variety of characters, in search of happiness and understanding. There is Andreas, a forlorn, young cigarette smuggler tortured by an unrequited love; a Polish taxi driver, Antoni, who urgently needs money for his daughter's communion dress; three Ukranian refugees determined to smuggle themselves across the river; Sonja, a German interpreter who risks her career and freedom to help an illegal immigrant; and Philip, a young architect who learns some hard lessons about love.

Director Hans-Christian Schmid has created a group of people, thrown together by fate, who deal with such universal themes of love, trust and betrayal, in a way that recalls Robert Altman's masterpiece Short Cuts.

See also...

L'AMOUR L'ARGENT L'AMOUR

If love can conquer the wintry cold, hunger, poverty and even violence, then you're really swimming in the thick realms of commitment and obsession. When David (Florian Setter) loses his job as a ... More »

UNPOLISHED, THE

“How do children define themselves or rebel against their parents, when the lines separating the generations seem to disintegrate?” - filmmaker Pia MaraisAt 14 years old, Stevie should be at ... More »

THE BRIDGE IN THE RAIN

Uwe and Gustav are brothers who are both wrestling with a major mid-life crisis. Zen Buddhism is Gustav's answer to his situation, as he plans for a trip to a Japanese monastery. Uwe, meanwhile ... More »

BYE BYE BERLUSCONI

Bye Bye Berlusconi! screened at this year's Berlin Film Festival where it was a multi-award winner. ... Thoroughly scrambling make-believe with reality, German director Jan Henrik Stahlberg has ... More »

The Ninth Day

Faith, conscience and evil lie at the very heart of Volker Schloendorff's masterly new film, [The Ninth Day]. Based on a true story, this measured and deeply compelling film explores one of the most ... More »

BARBARA

Winner of Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival. ... In the paranoiac nightmare of East Germany, 1980, Barbara - a physician from Berlin - has been sent to a small country town as punishment for ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director