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Directed by Christian Petzold
103 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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.
There are many more laughs in Afire than a Petzold film has ever afforded, but of a wry, sophisticated sort in which the ironies of misunderstanding are beautifully orchestrated through looks, silences and subliminal cringes.
Jonathan Romney, Screen International


Sat 24 Jun
Newcastle - Event Cinemas Kotara
Unclassified 15+
In German with English subtitles
Christian Petzold
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