Mission Ulja Funk

Mission Ulja Funk

Germany (2021, dir. Barbara Kronenberg, 94 mins)

A 12-year-old astronomy geek and her hearse-stealing classmate set out in pursuit of an asteroid in this rollicking road trip.

Aspiring astronomer Ulja Funk is having a hard time getting anyone in her country town to notice her … despite the fact that she’s just discovered an asteroid that seems to be headed straight for Belarus. Annoyed, and having enlisted the help of her classmate Henk, Ulja makes off with a stolen hearse and expeditions across the country in pursuit of the celestial rock – with her oppressive grandmother accidentally trapped in the boot and the local community hot on their heels.

Barbara Kronenberg’s feature debut is a wacky, often absurd road movie that barrels across Eastern Europe like a live-action cartoon, cheerfully lampooning authority while championing science and knowledge in the face of rigid moralising and backwards religion. World-premiering in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus strand, Mission Ulja Funk is a joyous adventure that’s sure to entertain audiences of all ages.

“Fresh, joyful and never patronizing … One of those movies for which it feels the phrase ‘for the young and young at heart’ was invented.” – Alliance of Women Film Journalists

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Language: German, with English subtitles
Genre: Comedy
Classroom discussion points: Science vs religion, intergenerational conflict, immigrant experience, borders and boundaries, family, social pressure and expectations, community
Age suitability advice:
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 8+