World Cinema


Year 2017
Runtime 119 mins
Language German / English / Bulgarian
Subtitles English

A smart variation of a traditional Western film genre that illustrates the east as the promised land for riches instead of the West.

Valeska Grisebach’s WESTERN is a smart variation of a traditional Western film genre and illustrates the east as the promised land for riches instead. The guns may be absent but horses and masculinity aren’t. In WESTERN, a group of German construction workers travel east to work in a Bulgarian town close to the Greek border. Once the German workers arrive in the beautiful Bulgarian countryside, they exert their presence by the proud mounting of their flag and their arrogant behaviour, including teasing a Bulgarian woman. The teasing of the local woman coupled with the cultural differences and historical grievances between the Germans and Bulgarians heightens tensions and slows down the construction work.

Caught in the middle of the East-West differences is Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), a quiet and intense man who is forced to navigate the complicated cultural traps around him. Co-produced by Maren Ade (TONI ERDMANN), WESTERN is an intelligent look at our changing economic world through the lens of an iconic genre.

Art Film Festival Kosice (Slovakia), Best Director; Motovun Film Festival (Croatia), FIPRESCI Prize and Best Film; T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival (Poland), FIPRESCI Prize and Grand Prix
Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Toronto International Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Munich International Film Festival
Valeska Grisebach
Boris Chouchkov, Viktor Chouchkov, Antonin Svoboda, Bruno Wagner
Valeska Grisebach
Bernhard Keller
Bettina Böhler
Production Design
Beatrice Schultz
Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov, Veneta Frangova, Vyara Borisova