The provocatively titled WESTERN follows Meinhard, a stoic and terse man who begins work with a German construction crew on a site in the remote Bulgarian countryside. Cultural rifts between the rowdy German workers and their unwelcoming Bulgarian neighbors soon become flashpoints of macho hostility and violence, and Meinhard finds himself in the uneasy middleground between the two sides. Filmmaker Valeska Grisebach examines and exposes the institutional strictures which serve to prop up notions of masculinity, and the toxic behaviors at once celebrated and nurtured by the titular classic film genre. Grisebach joins Maren Ade (TONI ERDMANN) as part of a new German auteur movement with this searing portrait of one man’s journey into the masculine and nomadic construction industry. – Lane Kneedler
Born in Bremen, Germany, Valeska Grisebach is a graduate of the Vienna Film Academy, where she studied under Austrian auteur Michael Haneke. Her directorial debut, BE MY STAR, won the critics prize at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival. Her sophomore feature LONGING (2006) screened at festivals worldwide, winning several high-profile awards. Her latest film WESTERN premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
The Cinema Guild