A chiropodist with disturbing baking ingredients, a policeman who likes to dress as a teddy bear, a silver-bearded old man who lives in harmony with nature in the woods and a film-maker without a muse: these are just some of the strange characters that coexist in Frauke Finsterwalder’s debut fiction feature.

Jonas (Max Pellny), a shy teenager, spends his days lost in comic books with his friend Natalie. At any given opportunity he uses his imagination to escape from the cold reality of the world around him. He is surrounded by a motley array of flawed and unbalanced individuals, like his classmate Maximilian, whose silver-spoon upbringing has made him obnoxious and self-centred. On a school tour to a former Nazi concentration camp the teenagers’ fates become entangled.

With an ensemble cast featuring some of Germany’s finest talents (including Corinna Harfouch from Downfall), Finsterworld (literally translated as ‘Darkworld’) is a quirky drama that explores complex and sometimes sinister aspects of human relationships. Newcomer Max Pellny is illuminating as the young Jonas, while Michael Maertens really steals the show as Claude, the creepy chiropodist.

Dave Desmond
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

‘A dark, multi-stranded fairytale’
The Hollywood Reporter

Presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Irland