Valeska Grisebach (2017)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Returning to film-making after a decade away, Valeska Grisebach confirms the good impression made with Be My Star (2001) and Longing (2006) with this bruising clash of macho cultures. While building a water supply plant in a remote Bulgarian enclave, tensions begin to rise between a German construction gang and the local villagers. However, it all seems like small beer to aloof new recruit Meinhard Neumann, who has seen action in Afghanistan and Africa. He even bonds with village bigwig Syuleyman Alilov Letifov over a white horse, which only serves to rile short-fused foreman Reinhardt Wetrek, who has wound up his hosts by harassing the womenfolk and flying a German flag over the camp. The nods to the Hollywood western extend beyond cinematographer Bernhard Keller's glorious homages to John Ford and the strutting performances of the outstanding non-professional leads. But, while Grisebach is fascinated by the universality of male posturing, she also follows producer Maren Ade's lead from Toni Erdmann (2016) in exploring Germany's condescending attitude to its eastern neighbours.


A group of German construction workers have their characters and prejudices tested as they begin a tough new assignment in the remote Bulgarian countryside. Drama, starring Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek and Syuleyman Alilov Letifov. In German and Bulgarian.

Cast & Crew

Meinhard Meinhard Neumann
Vincent Reinhardt Wetrek
Adrian Syuleyman Alilov Letifov
Veneta Veneta Fragnova
Vyara Vyara Borisova
Wanko Kevin Bashev
Mancho Aliosman Deliev
Mancho's grandfather Momchil Sinanov
Tommy Robert Gawellek
Jens Jens Klein
Director Valeska Grisebach
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Other Information

Language: German, Bulgarian, English +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: New WaveGuidance: Violence, swearing, a sex sceneAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 13 Apr 2018