Skip to main content

THIS AIN'T CALIFORNIA

Germany, 2012 (MIFF 2012, Documentaries)

Director: Marten Persiel

THIS AIN'T CALIFORNIA

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...

COMRADES IN DREAMS

“An entertaining world tour of small-town movie houses and the dedicated cineastes who maintain them.” - Variety Bringing together cinema exhibitors from North Korea, America, India and Africa, Comrad... More »

MY FIRST NAME IS MACEO

" Maceo, blow your horn!!" There wasn't a concert or recording session when the Godfather of Soul, James Brown didn't fire up his aggressive dynamic saxophonist with the preced­ing exclamation. Maceo ... More »

THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN

An initiation into the little-heard music of Mongolia that is as captivating to the eyes as it is to the ears. ... This highly stylised documentary from filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa (The Cave of the Ye... More »

TRIP TO ASIA - THE QUEST FOR HARMONY

“There are as many different kinds of people in this orchestra as you can imagine. And each one of them is looking for something that fits. We are on a quest for harmony.” - principal conductor Sir Si... More »

STARS BY HELMUT NEWTON

Notorious for his stark, black and white photography capturing ice-cool Teutonic giantesses in fetish wardrobes, Helmut Newton is one of modern photography's most enduring figures. This alluring docum... More »

MY BEST FRIEND

My Best Fiend is an alarming documentary about the love-hate relationship between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. The film deals with the deep trust between the director and actor and their independen... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director