Again and again, children and young people are the focus of the filmmakers. They show rebellious teenagers who rebel against their parents. Others withdraw into an inner dream or fantasy world, influenced by domestic circumstances. They tell stories that are typical for this age and all the imponderables that this phase of self-discovery brings with it, such as first love, bullying, drugs and quarrels with parents. The stories also show the fates of children who have to take their lives into their own hands at a young age. These films represent the strong youth at the Home of Films, at this year's 54th Hof International Film Festival 2020.
A selection of the films:
Director: Philipp Klinger (Germany 2020)
17-year-old Rebekka feels a deep emptiness in her intact village world since her brother’s suicide. Through his best friend, the outsider Vincent, she finally finds access to her pain. Against the resistance of her parents, a romantic relationship develops that is both healing and destructive. When the situation escalates, Rebekka has to break out to find herself.
With Sarah Mahita, Béla Gabor Lenz, Stephan Szász, Birge Schade
Director: Andrey Burmistrov (Russia 2020)
Little Sasha grows up in an orphanage, waiting for his mother to finally come and get him. One day he hears a piece by the pianist Sergei Rachmaninov on the radio – and is so fascinated by the music that he decides to teach himself to play the piano.
With Denis Kryukov, Eva Milgram, Andrey Malov, Dmitry Arkhangelsky
Director: Andreas Kannengießer (Germany 2020)
The 15-year-old Mika has a bad case of lovesickness. Until he meets Lea – because she is mysterious. And totally deaf. To impress his ex-girlfriend Sandra, Mika goes for the smart "handicapped girl". But Lea has no room for hearing boys in her world. Mika's old friends soon don’t understand him either. Anyone else would give up, but Slo-Bro Mika suffers through. A film adaptation of the youth novel by Kathrin Schrocke.
With Luke Piplies, Dana Cērmane, Julia Müller, Sophia Schilling
HERE WE ARE
Director: Nir Bergman (Israel, Italy 2020)
Aharon has devoted his life to raising his son Uri. They live together in a gentle routine, far away from the real world. But Uri is autistic, and now as a young adult it might be time for him to live in a specialized home. While on their way to the institution, Aharon decides to run away with his son and hits the road, knowing that Uri is not ready for this separation. The journey of the two will change their lives.
With Shai Avivi, Noam Imber
NEEDLE PARK BABY
Director: Pierre Monnard (Switzerland 2020)
After the dissolution of the open drug scene in Zurich in 1995, 11-year-old Mia and her mother move to a small town. But their new home is no paradise for Mia, because her mother is severely addicted to drugs. Mia takes refuge in a fantasy world.
With Luna Mwezi, Sarah Spale, Anouk Petri, Delio Malär
Director: Markus Lenz (Germany, Ukraine 2020)
After the death of his grandmother, there is no one in the Ukrainian village who can take care of the 9-year-old Roman. His mother Oksana works as an illegal nurse in Germany. Hidden in a van, Roman follows her, but Oksana is not alone. She lives with the widower of the now deceased wife she cared for. A dramatic love triangle begins, driven by dependence, love and jealousy.
With Yelizar Nazarenko, Maria Bruni, Udo Samel
Director: Charlène Favier (France 2020)
Lyz, 15, is accepted into the prestigious ski section of the Bourg-Saint-Maurice high school. Fred, former champion and now coach, has decided to invest everything in his new discovery. With Fred's support, she throws herself into the training with fiery enthusiasm and experiences one success after another. Slowly Lyz comes completely under Fred's influence. Will the unrestrained energy of youth give her the strength to regain her freedom?
With Noée Abita, Jérémie Renier, Marie Denarnaud, Muriel Combeau
THOMAS, DER HOCHSPRINGER
Director: Leri Matehha (Germany 2020)
Thomas, a young man, leads an isolated life with his mother in a sports boarding school. The only contact with the outside world is the artificial world of sport. Life is characterized by emotionless discipline and confused social rules. To make her son a competitive athlete, she binds Thomas to the narcissistic coach Frank. His alternative training methods help Thomas to escape the monotonous daily routine of discipline and the maternal regime of control begins to crumble.
With Alexandra Finder, Max Poerting, Zhenja Isaak, Kelvin Kilonzo
TOPRAK – SOIL
Director: Sevgi Hirschhäuser (Turkey, Germany 2020)
The young orphan Burak lives with his uncle Cemil in a small Turkish village. While the religious Cemil seems satisfied with living in poverty, Burak wants to leave the village and go to the university. When Burak's grandmother falls ill, he and his uncle have to make difficult decisions that will change their lives forever.
With Numan Cakir, Burak Aydin, Emine Anil