JDIFF 2012 German Cinema Review: The City Below [Unter Dir Die Stadt] in co-operation with Goethe-Institut Irland

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012

German: The City Below [Unter Dir Die Stadt]

Saturday, 18th February, 2:00pm, Light House

Having escaped the very low powered financial world many years ago myself  I find films set in a high pressured corporate finance world exotic and appealing.  It’s a perfect vehicle for race against time drama such as the recent Margin Call where you find Jeremy Irons doing what he does best playing a morally corrupt senior executive.

The City Below [Unter Dir Die Stadt] has a a similarly morally corrupt senior banker Roland Cordes, played by Robert Hunger-Büehler, embarking on an affair with the wife of a subordinate Svenja Steve, played by Nicolette Krebitz, which unsurprisingly makes life very complicated for them both.

The performances in the solid, slower moving, darkly witty drama are strong, particularly the many non-verbal interactions between the Hunger-Büehler and Krebitz.  The cold clinical takeover negotiations take place in cold clinical boardrooms,  however it’s refreshing to see  late middle-aged German financial executives spending some of these crucial business meetings spacing out about the opposite sex as much as the rest of us.

Presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Irland.

Gordon Gaffney

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