THIS AIN'T CALIFORNIA

Germany, 2012 (MIFF 2012, Documentaries)

Director: Marten Persiel

Skateboarding becomes a metaphor for freedom in this prize-winning love letter to the subversive power of youth.

East Germany in the 80s. For three teens - Nico, Dirk and Dennis - life in the GDR was dominated by skateboarding. But in a nation where “the streets were not for playing around”, skating was as much a revolutionary act of defiance as it was a spectacular sport.

Using a rush of super-8 films, animations, re-enactments and archival footage all set against a delirious punk soundtrack, This Ain't California follows the three through adolescence and into adulthood on the eve of reunification. Director Marten Persiel imbues the film with a stylistic confidence that won it the Dialogue en Perspective Prize at the 2012 Berlinale.

Through the lenses of the skater kids amongst the Stasi, This Ain't California offers a rare glimpse into East Berlin counterculture.

D Marten Persiel P Ronald Vietz, Michael Schöbel S Ira Wedel, Marten Persiel Dist Management of Doubt L German w/English subtitles TD DCP/2012


See also...

FREAKSTARS 3000

Freakstars 3000 GermanyIt scandalised the Rotterdam Film Festival and, for as long as reality TV rules the airwaves, you are unlikely to see anything as weird and disturbing as Freakstars 3000. This c... More »

INTO GREAT SILENCE

Into Great Silence was winner of a Special Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Nestled in the French Alps, the Grand Chartreuse monastery is home to the Carthusian Order, one of the most... More »

REVERSE SHOT - REBELLION OF THE FILMMAKERS

“With their liveliness, [the filmmakers] hide nothing from the camera - they talk over one another, they speak their mind… They say what they really think and that's what makes the film so lively.” - ... More »

LOCKED UP TIME

Not surprisingly, a flood of new documentaries about the New Germany and the horrors of the old, have surfaced over the last twelve months at the Leipzig and Berlin Festivals. Undoubtedly the finest o... More »

LESSONS OF DARKNESS

Lessons of Darkness marks a welcome return to form for German director Werner Herzog, once a regularly seen figure on the festival circuit, now noted mainly for his absence. After a decade of large-sc... More »

PIANOMANIA

It's said that you save 50% energy when you're satisfied with 90% of perfection - this film is about the last ten percent. ... Eighty-eight keys, 230 strings on a cast iron frame, a weight of 480 kilo... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director