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‘Gripping drama’ at BUEI on Sunday

A scene from The People vs Fritz Bauer, screening on Sunday at the BUEI (Photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

Two films that have won a combined 16 awards are to screen at the Weekend Film Series on Sunday.

Screening at 3pm at Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, The People vs Fritz Bauer is described as a gripping drama. It was a big winner at the German Film Awards, earning coveted Lolas for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

The film also won Best Feature awards at the Hessian Film Awards and in annual voting by the German Film Critics Association, captured the Audience Award at the Locarno festival, and won a Best Actor prize at the Bavarian Film Awards.

Set in Germany, 1957, 12 years after the war, the film tells how Attorney-General Fritz Bauer receives crucial evidence on the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann, who is allegedly hiding in Buenos Aires.

Mr Bauer, himself Jewish, has been trying to take crimes by the Third Reich to court ever since his return from Danish exile — but with no success due to fierce German determination to repress the country’s sinister past. Because he distrusts the German justice system, Mr Bauer contacts the Israeli secret service Mossad.

The film is described as a powerful and gripping portrait of a courageous man and his battle for truth and justice.

It is in German with English subtitles, and is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Screening at 5.15pm, Cameraperson won Best Documentary prizes at festivals in Sheffield, San Francisco, DOXA (Vancouver), Montclair, Camden, and Sarasota. It also won Best US Documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival that is run by documentarian Michael Moore, and a Special Jury Prize at the River Run Film Festival.

Scenes include a boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home. Cameraperson is described as a tapestry of footage captured over the 25-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, whose filmography includes Citizenfour, The Invisible War, and The Oath, among many others.

Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Ms Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative.

A work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is said to be both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.

The film was rated PG for its screening at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.

Tickets for both films are on sale now at the Oceans Gift Shop, BUEI, or by calling 294-0204. Trailers of the films can be viewed at www.bermudadocs.com.