Silver Bear winner in Berlin, Christian Petzold (Undine, SFF 2021; Barbara, SFF 2012) returns with a tragicomic romp about four young people trapped at a holiday house as a fire draws near.
Friends Leon (Thomas Schubert) and Felix (Langston Uibel) head to an idyllic seaside home for the summer. They look forward to relaxation, but also must work on their creative projects. Leon will finish the manuscript of his anticipated second novel, while Felix has to complete a photography portfolio. On arrival they find an unexpected guest Nadja (Paula Beer, Undine
), whose loud sex with local lifesaver Devid (Enno Trebs) elicits irritation… among other feelings. Soon Leon is smitten with Nadja, and Felix taken with Devid – and the summer holiday is filled with lust, jealousy, competition and creativity. All the while the forest fires, once distant, encroach and grow, leading to a shocking climax. Following Undine
, in which water and architecture were pivotal, Petzold now grapples with fire, literature and photography. Filled with mischievous humour, and the heady matters of artistic value and creation, ultimately Afire
is preoccupied with love.