What They’re Watching in Germany This Summer

Film Forum | Courtesy of Film Forum
Film Forum | Courtesy of Film Forum
Photo of Evelyn Smallwood
30 May 2017

Germany has a thriving domestic movie scene and long tradition of going to the cinema. Big cities have multiplexes, but most Germans watch their films in small, one- or two-screen independents. Nearly 250 films are produced in Germany each year, almost 40 percent of which are documentaries. Here’s what’s coming to German cinemas this summer.


Who doesn’t love fit people running around in bathing suits shouting cheesy dialogue, especially when the Hoff is involved. It is possible to watch English language films in Germany in the original language (OmU) with German subtitles, but it is much more common for the dialogue to be dubbed. To hear what The Rock sounds like in Deutsch, head to a German cinema this summer.

Plan B: Scheiss auf Plan A

Can, Phong, Cha and U-Gin are best friends and also the worst wannabe action film stars, basically ever. Through the magic of cinema, they get mixed up with real-life gangsters who take one of the guys hostage. In order to rescue their friend, the others are forced to find out the secret of the terrifying top gangster. Think the Hangover, mixed with Four Lions and Burn After Reading, but with guns.

Ganz großer Oper

One of the 40 percent documentaries for 2017, Ganz großer Oper is about the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. While other houses in Milan, Paris or New York might argue they are the very best in the world, the Staatsoper certainly makes a convincing case for the crown. Loads of opera stars and a good look behind the scenes make this documentary a must for anyone even a little bit interested in life on the big stage.

The Darkest Nothing – Paraphenia

A terrifying psychological thriller, The Darkest Nothing is made and produced in Germany, but filmed in English. Judy is addicted to the violent images she finds on the Dark Web. Realizing she is in desperate need of help, she pays a visit to her psychiatrist, William. His treatment suggestion is to take her deep inside her mind to explore her most disturbed fantasies. She participates willingly, until she realizes that something else is going on.

Auf die andern Seit ist das Gras viel grüner

A classic will she/won’t she. Kati and her husband Felix have been married for five years. Happily, they both thought, until Kati meets Matthias, a handsome artist. While Kati is deciding if she should throw it all away and run away with her new love, she wakes up the day before she first met Felix. Will Kati and her husband get together again? Is true love real?


It won’t get to Netflix U.S.A. until the autumn, but German viewers can enjoy Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese’s supernatural family thriller Dark starting in July. The 4K series, about the disappearance of two children, was shot around Berlin and is the first German language series commissioned by Netflix. Double lives, broken relationships and a little bit of time travel: what could go wrong?

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