While forest fire surrounds the beachfront house, Leon and Felix are trying to complete their book and an art portfolio. The unexpected presence of Nadja and Devid, a couple lodging at the same property, puts a stop to their plans. Leon tries to maintain a professional demeanor, suppressing his introverted nature and masking his vexation with the cheerfulness of others. However, the arrival of Leon’s publisher only further deepens the mounting unease as the sky turns a fiery shade of red and the ash of the surrounding forest descends upon the four. The second installment of the trilogy that Petzold began with Undine (2020), and Afire (2023) talks about the loss of opportunity to be a part of the world by letting life slip through your fingers.
Christian Petzold is the most distinguished filmmaker of The Berlin School. Ever since completing his studies at the German Film and Television Academy, Petzold has been telling disturbing tales of contemporary Germany. Some of his most popular films include Barbara (2012), for which he was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director, and Phoenix (2014), which explores the self-destruction of the German people throughout history, with a focus on the aftermath of World War II. In addition to his prolific work in film and television scores, Petzold directed Arthur Schnitzel’s The Lonely Way at the Deutsches Theater.
FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
Berlin International Film Festival – Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Palić Film Festival – FIPRESCI prize for Best Film
Director: Christian Petzold
Cast: Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs
Production: Schramm Film Koerner & Weber