24th Athens International Film Festival

The Forest for the Trees

22/9/2016, 21:30, Danaos 2 24/9/2016, 19:30, Danaos 2

An idealistic young teacher takes on her first job at a school, where she has to face rebellious students, cynical colleagues and her own social awkwardness. What is she willing to do to satisfy her desperate need for human connection? In her impressively mature debut, Maren Ade expertly dissects the agitated psyche of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, in a bitter comedy about the nightmare that is the “modern” educational system. Special Jury Prize of the Sundance Film Festival.

Young Melanie is an avowed idealist who leaves her boyfriend and her provincial home to take her first teaching job in a German city. However, despite being armed with her best intentions, she is unable to adapt to the harsh reality. All alone in a strange town, she tries in vain to control her unruly students and overcome the cynicism of her colleagues. In her attempt to find an antidote to her loneliness and the social awkwardness that plagues her, Melanie will make a desperate effort to win the friendship of a charming neighbor.

To what lengths will one go in order to satisfy their desperate need for human contact? And what is the cost of the realization that things rarely stand up to one’s expectations? In her strikingly mature directorial debut, Maren Ade dissects with surgical precision the unstable psychological world of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, delivering a bitter comedy about the nightmare of the “modern” education system. Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Director: Maren Ade 
Screenwriter: Maren Ade
DoP: Nikolai von Graevenitz
Music: Ina Siefert, Nellis du Biel 
Editor: Heike Parplies 
Principal Cast: Eva Löbau, Daniela Holtz, Jan Neumann, Ilona C. Schulz, Robert Schupp, Heinz-Röser Dümming, Martina Eckrich 

Germany | 2003 | Color | 35mm | 81' | German


      Spotlight on Maren Ade

      Spotlight on Maren Ade

      Everyone Else

      Everyone Else

      During their summer holidays in Sicily, the relationship of an ostensibly loving couple is put to the test when they meet another couple, also holidaying in the area. Maren Ade choreographs wonderful scenes of emotional honesty, incorporates disarming silences and wins you over with the simplicity of her imagery, in a love story that is a worthy successor to the cinematic legacy left behind by John Cassavetes and Michelangelo Antonioni. Silver Bear for Best Actress and Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

      Toni Erdmann

      Toni Erdmann

      How generous, hilarious and surprising can the story of a prank-loving father trying to rebuild his failing relationship with his estranged and workaholic daughter be? In Maren Ade's subversive hands, a seemingly simple relationship story becomes a rare cinematic gift that not only rightfully deserved this year's Palme d'Or, but will also be hard to beat as the best film of 2016.