Goethe Films: Stronger Than Blood


Photo: Burak Yigit in Stronger than Blood © Camino Filmverleih


Presented by the Goethe-Institut
October 3 + 8 + 10

Over the last two decades, a thriller sub-genre has carved out a popular and critically acclaimed niche in German cinema: gangster films by (arthouse and mainstream) filmmakers —Arslan, Yildirim, Akin and others— with star actors —Ünel, Bleibtreu, Löw— often of immigrant or métissage descent. Some films tell hard-hitting street crime stories, some are tender explorations of inner-city life and love. All introduce us to fresh, complex (and predominantly male) characters that appeal well beyond their own worlds as they navigate conscience, honour and responsibility for their actions.

October 3, 6:30pm: DEALER (Germany, 1999, 74 min.) by Thomas Arslan, with Tamer Ygit, Idil Üner, Birol Ünel (HEAD-ON)

Despite many attempts, Can is unable to devote himself to anything other than a career in crime as a small-time dealer and errand boy for drug boss Hakan. Can’s lover Jale, who works in the warehouse of a department store, has been pressing Can to give up his illegal activities. Fed up with his situation, Can sees a bright new beginning for himself and his family when Hakan offers him the prospective chance to run a bar on his own. But he has little control over the pressure that gradually begins to build up around him.

FIPRESCI Prize Forum of New Cinema 1999. Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Forum of New Cinema 1999

“This intimate diary portrait of a young Turkish drug pusher caught between family (his young wife and child), mob patron, cops and the daily grind is a stunning and assured piece of work.” – timeout.com

October 8, 6:30pm: CHIKO (Germany, 2008, 92 min.) by Özgur Yildirim, produced by Fatih Akin, with Denis Moschitto (IN THE FADE) , Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN), Hans Löw, Fahri Yardim

Stopping at nothing and intimidating those who get in his way, Chiko earns the attention of local drug lord Brownie. The money begins to flow and it looks as though Chiko and his friends are getting closer to the lifestyle they desire. But when one of the friends makes a mistake, Chiko is forced to decide between his criminal career & the money on the one side, and friendship & loyalty on the other.

2 German Film Awards & 2 further nominations. 2 Awards at the Nuremberg Film Festival “Turkey-Germany”

“The straightforwardness with which the young filmmaker tells his gangster ballad and the authenticity of his characters are impressive.” – Der Spiegel

October 10, 6:30pm: STRONGER THAN BLOOD (Germany, 2010, 108 min.) by Oliver Kienle, with Jacob Matschenz, Burak Yiğit, Aylin Tezel (7500), Liv Lisa Fries (BABYLON BERLIN)

Tommy and Sule are like brothers to each other: nothing will ever get between them. But then Tommy gets caught dealing drugs and has to serve his sentence. Fresh out of juvenile prison, he swears off drugs for good. But when the going gets tough, the only support he finds is from his best friend Sule, who presents him “the master plan”: one last drug deal to finance their own auto body shop.

Bavarian Film Awards 2011 Best Young Actor for Jacob Matschenz & Burak Yiğit. First Steps Award 2010. German Camera Award 2010 Best Editing. 3 Max Ophüls Festival Awards 2010

GOETHE FILMS screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4, 350 King St W, Toronto, ON
With English subtitles; open to audiences 18+
Tickets $10 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person or by phone 1-888-599-8433 or online

Ticket raffles, updates & background on our blog “German Film @ Canada”


Program & Media Contact:
Jutta Brendemühl
Program Curator
Goethe-Institut Toronto