Archives / 1987 Sundance Film Festival

Fatherland

Director: Ken Loach

Screenwriters: Trevor Griffiths

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival

Description

In the sixties, British cinema underwent one of its recurring “back to realism” waves. Out of that movement came Ken Loach. However, while other directors were hedging their box office bets with stars and turning their realism into melorealism, Loach insisted on a documentary-like style, narratives that were loose enough to allow a sense of life being lived in an approximation of real time, and an uncompromising logic which make the “dark” endings of more commercial realism look like misplaced romanticism. In his new film, Fatherland, Loach again approaches fiction as if it were documentary. Klaus Dritterman (Gerulf Pannach) is an East Berliner whose songs land him in political trouble. He is obliged to go to the West. There he finds himself lionized, with a big recording contract and career before him. He is more interested, however, in finding his father who defected before him by 30 years. Loach—with the considerable aid of Trevor Griffiths’ script and Chris Menges’ cinematography—treats all of this with an elegantly slow pacing and cool observation of emotion and behavior; yet the firm is gripping both to the emotions and to the mind,

— Kay Armatage

Screening Details

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