The latest Berlinale Silver Bear-winning film from German auteur Christian Petzold (Transit, Phoenix), Afire is a simmering relationship drama set at a holiday house. While vacationing by the Baltic Sea, writer Leon (Thomas Schubert) and photographer Felix (Langston Uibel) are surprised by the presence of Nadja (Paula Beer), a mysterious young woman staying as a guest at Felix’s family’s holiday home. Nadja distracts Leon from finishing his latest novel and with brutal honesty, forces him to confront his caustic temperament and self-absorption. As Nadja and Leon grow closer, an encroaching forest fire threatens the group and tensions escalate when a handsome lifeguard and Leon's tight-lipped book editor also arrive.
Why You Should See This Film
We are devoted fans of the films of Christian Petzold (director of former Sydney Exclusives Transit and Undine), who consistently delivers some of the most interesting, narratively complex, formally exciting and historically layered contemporary cinema out there. Afire is one of his most accessible but by no means slightest films yet, both buzzing with the energy and potential of a long summer holiday and masterfully simmering with an undercurrent of tension both on an interpersonal and a global level, as temperatures rise and fires blaze. Highly recommended.
- Year: 2023
- Rating: M
- Director: Christian Petzold
- Cast: Paula Beer, Thomas Schubert, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs
- Duration: 102 minutes
- Language: German with English subtitles