(Valeska Grisebach, Germany/Bulgaria/Austria 2017, 119 min., DCP, German, Bulgarian w/subtitles)
Rochester Premiere. An intense, slow-burning thriller, Western follows a group of German construction workers installing a hydroelectric plant in remote rural Bulgaria. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but tensions mount when Meinhard, the strong, silent newcomer to the group, starts mixing with the local villagers. The two sides speak different languages and share a troubled history. Can they learn to trust each other, or is the stage being set for a showdown?
The third feature by Valeska Grisebach—arguably the most original and perceptive European filmmaker of the 21st century—was well worth waiting the eleven years since her previous masterpiece, Longing. In an era of global mass migration and growing cultural clashes, Western thoroughly explores the fundamental question of peaceful coexistence of different traditions.
Also showing: Saturday, March 10, 7:30 p.m.