(Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen, Maren Ade, Germany 2003, 81 min., 35mm, German w/subtitles)
International Women’s Day | New 35mm Print | Rochester Premiere. Bursting with idealism, Melanie Pröschle, a young teacher from the countryside, starts her first job at a high school in the city. Desperate to fulfil her hopes, Melanie intends to do everything the right way. Politely she introduces herself to her neighbors with homemade schnapps. At her first day of school she gives a very ambitious speech for her colleagues. She wants to be a “fresh breeze” to the school, but it is not easy to start a new life, as Melanie copes with loneliness, established teachers and ninth grade students. The very first feature directed by Maren Ade, whose Toni Erdmann was one of the most talked about and celebrated films of 2016, shows the filmmaker in top shape, and is now finally released in the States.
“A sober psychological drama about a novice teacher in meltdown, Maren Ade’s low-budget The Forest for the Trees builds slowly but assuredly to produce an unsettling final kick. An introverted but commanding lead performance by Eva Lobau should put her name on the map, as well as that of debut feature maker Maren Ade, whose graduation film this is.” – Screen International