Punk tale, psychodrama put in Perspectives

Berlinale lines up a dozen films for German cinema sidebar

BERLIN -- Punks, killers and other upstanding citizens are the stars of the Berlin International Film Festival's 2009 Perspectives on German Cinema section.

Director Lars Jessen returns to his youth -- Germany of the 1980s -- for his Perspectives entry: "Dorfpunks." Based on the cult novel by Rocko Schamoni, it tells the story of a group a punk rockers who move to a tiny village in rural Switzerland. Jessen's tongue-in-cheek take on the '80s is familiar to fans of his debut, "The Day Bobby Ewing Died" (2005), which won the Max Ophuls Prize.

There's little to laugh about in Lars-Gunnar Lotz's psychodrama "For Miriam," which examines how a teacher is undone by an accident that results in the death of her best pupil's sister.

"Jedem das Seine" (Each to his Own) also looks at crime and punishment as two brothers meet up after years apart: one as a police officer, the other as the suspect in a serious crime.

Two documentaries have made the Perspectives cut: "Achterbahn," a profile of funfair worker Norbert Witte, whose varied career has included a stint as a South American drug dealer, and Claudia Lehmann's "Hans im Gluck," which examines the criminal as well as musical career of German rock guitarist Hans Narva.

The complete Perspectives on German Cinema lineup follows:

Films in Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2009
"Achterbahn" (Catapult), Peter Doerfler (documentary)
"Distanz" (Distance), Thomas Sieben
"Dorfpunks," Lars Jessen
"Fliegen" (Fly), Piotr J. Lewandowski
"Fuer Miriam" (For Miriam), Lars-Gunnar Lotz
"Gitti," Anna Deutsch (documentary)
"Hans im Gluck" (Berlin Playground), Claudia Lehmann (documentary)
"Hoellenritt" (Roller Coaster), Martin Busker
"Jedem das Seine" (Each to his Own), Stefan Schaller
"Nur fuer einen Augenblick" (In the Blink of an Eye), Abel Lindner
"Polar," Michael Koch
"Wir sind schon mittendrin" (Generation Undecided), Elmar Szuecs (documentary)