Focus - Western | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián


Presented by Valeska Grisebach

Western, Valeska Grisebach

Western, Valeska Grisebach, Alemania, 2017, 100', DCP OV with Spanish subtitles

A group of German workers arrive in a remote part of the Bulgarian countryside to work on a large-scale project. The distant land and the new territory awaken in them their sense of adventure. But this is also when fears arise and when the group has to face their own prejudices and mistrust caused by linguistic and cultural barriers. It is when the word “foreign” takes on its full meaning: someone who arrives from the outside, someone who is “other”.

“I grew up in West Berlin in the 1970s, sitting in front of the television. We saw many westerns and they never ceased to captivate me in a strange way, and so at a certain moment it inspired in me a desire to return to them. There is also the issue of latent xenophobia, something I had always wanted to explore in a film: that moment in which contempt replaces empathy. The idea of ​​placing a group of Germans working in a foreign country was the starting point to address this topic. I am fascinated by the layers, the contradictions and the tones of the themes in the western. I am interested in the meaning of that ambivalence between the here and now as a social construction.”


Western premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes festival.

Best Director Award at the Mar del Plata Festival, 2017.

Special Jury Prize at the European Film Festival of Seville, 2017.


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