You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Karger

Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in "Karger," a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. Writer-director Elke Hauck's feature debut, which recalls movies by Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, is prime fare for fests and Eurocasters but too small for theatrical export.

Cast:
With: Jens Klemig, Marion Kuhnt, Anja Dietrich.

Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married and raise children — and can’t quite comprehend or cope with breaks in the cycle. Writer-director Elke Hauck’s feature debut, which recalls movies by Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, is prime fare for fests and Eurocasters but too small for theatrical export.

Burly steelworker Karger (Jens Klemig) and wife Sabine (Marion Kuhnt) have been separated for nearly a year, but he hasn’t told parents or pals. Impassive and inarticulate, he seems to hope that by ignoring the situation it will somehow disappear.

At a high school reunion, Karger learns many of his contemporaries are single parents and remain in the area of Saxony where they grew up. During a one-night stand with an attractive classmate, he’s asked, “You’ve never left here?” He replies, “Why should I?”

In Karger’s traditional world, women are more important for sex than partnership. What little appropriate tenderness he can summon goes to his young daughter, Clara. He starts sleeping with harsh-looking barmaid Ulrike (Anja Dietrich), who’s raising two sons on her own, but is incapable of giving her emotional intimacy.

When a foreign company acquires the foundry where he works, Karger and many others are made redundant. Without prospects in the area, Karger is finally forced to leave town.

Helmer Hauke enhances the Everyman sense of Karger’s experience by never mentioning his first name. The lyrics of blue-collar rock band Freygang (which provides the score and appear in opening concert) serve as a counterpoint to the action.

Performers, cast for their physique and familiarity with the situation, are nonprofessionals from the Riesa area who speak the local dialect. Production design emphasizes the dreary sameness of the domestic interiors Karger inhabits.

Karger

Germany

Production: An O Filmproduktion production, in association with MDR, with participation of MDM, SLM, BKM, DEFA-Stiftung. Produced by Katrin Schlosser, Frank Loprich. Directed, written by Elke Hauck.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Patrick Orth; editor, Barbara Gebler, Stefan Stabenow; music, Freygang; production designer, Beatrice Schultz; costume designer, Juliane Friedrich; sound (DTS Digital), Frank Bubenzer, Mario Brecht; casting, Miriam Locker. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 1, 2007. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Jens Klemig, Marion Kuhnt, Anja Dietrich.

More Film

  • Busan: ‘Gasoline’ fills up at Project

    Busan: ‘Gasoline’ Fills up at Project Market Awards

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • BjorkPolar Music Talk, Biograf Scandia, Stockholm,

    Bjork Elaborates on Harassment: Danish Director ‘Stroked Me,’ Made ‘Graphic Sexual Offers’

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • Nora Johnson Obit Dead

    Nora Johnson, Writer of 'The World of Henry Orient,' Dies at 84

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • Jack Gao: Wanda, Legendary Departure Was

    What Prompted Jack Gao's Wanda, Legendary Departure?

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • Angelina Jolie gwyneth paltrow Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Firestorm Marks an Inflection Point for Entertainment

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • POLAND OUTMandatory Credit: Photo by Bartlomiej

    European Filmmakers and Producers Protest Sacking of Polish Film Institute Director

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

  • Tippi Hedren Alfred Hitchcock Sexual Harassment

    Casting-Couch Tactics Plagued Hollywood Long Before Harvey Weinstein

    Various setbacks lead toward a new beginning for the title character in “Karger,” a low-key, working-class slice-of-lifer set in eastern Germany. A closely observed tale of a man’s difficulty in contending with divorce, job redundancy and his father’s failing health, pic reps a generation of small-town thirtysomethings who expected to learn a trade, stay married […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content