22 April 1999 | Pucki
Maybe the definite East Germany movie
Eastern Germany, nearly a decade after the wall came down.... Stahnke, unemployed former miner, kidnaps the judge who just sentenced to jail his girlfriend for prostitution charges. His plan to get his girl out of jail fails because at first no-one misses the judge as she just had announced her long vacation. More out of desperation Stahnke brings his hostage to his hometown, where the judge has to pose as his girlfriend for his mother. Meanwhile the real girlfriend escapes from jail, police on her trail.
This sounds quite like a good thriller story, but Peter Kahane, once acclaimed DEFA director in GDR-times, sets his movie more as a melodramatic comedy. The pacing is considerably slow, gives the actors plenty of time to develop the characters, to make the viewer care for them. And they all use it very well. Wolfgang Stumph shows that he's much more than just another comedian as in Peter Timm's "Go Trabi Go" films or in his TV efforts "Salto Postale" and "Salto Kommunale". Nina Petri is excellent as his girlfriend, just as Corinna Harfouch as kidnapped judge. The film really is about the kind of people for whom the changes in Germany, the fall of communism and the rise of the western system, didn't work out, the "Wendeverlierer" (losers of the change), as they are referred to in Germany - and it indeed talks true.
Besides, the film is beautifully photographed and gives the devastated landscapes of not-longer-used East German mining facilities quite a surreal look. And the effect of the Udo Lindenberg song "Hinter dem Horizont" as soundtrack tagline cannot be under-estimated - this song obviously did have to wait quite a long time for the right occasion.
"Bis zum Horizont und weiter" came as a real pleasant surprise. It has laughs, it has suspense, and during the tragic finale, I was not ashamed to have tears in my eyes.