DE   IT 

4/3/2017 - 8:00 PM Uhr

Toni Erdmann (in german language)

DE/AT/RO 2016, 162 min.
Director: Maren Ade
with: Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller, Michael Wittenborn, Thomas Loibl, Trystan Pütter, Hadewych Minis, Lucy Russell, Vlad Ivanov, Victoria Cocias

Winfried Conradi is a divorced music teacher, an old-age hippie of sorts, with a passion for bizarre pranks involving several fake personas. Following the death of his beloved dog, he decides to reconnect with his daughter, Ines, who is pursuing a career in business consulting. Ines is currently posted in Bucharest, Romania, where she works on an outsourcing project in the oil industry. She is consumed by her work and seems to have little time for her family, least of all her father.

Winfried spontaneously travels to Bucharest and waits for Ines in the lobby of an office complex. After several hours, she finally appears, accompanied by several of her client's board members and on the way to a meeting. Winfried puts on sunglasses and fake teeth as a playful disguise, and approaches her from the side while hiding behind a newspaper. Ines completely ignores her father, but meets with him briefly after work and invites him to a business reception.

In the evening, Winfried accompanies Ines to the reception at the American Embassy, where they meet Henneberg, a German oil company CEO with whom Ines wishes to secure a consulting contract. Ines tries desperately to gain Henneberg's attention, but Henneberg seems more interested in her father. Winfried tells Henneberg that he has hired a replacement daughter because Ines is always busy. To Ines' surprise, Henneberg invites Winfried and Ines for drinks, along with his entourage. At the bar, Henneberg once again brushes aside Ines, and makes fun of Winfried.

After several days, Ines and Winfried are struggling to get along. Ines is consumed by work-related stress and oversleeps a planned rendezvous with clients, blaming her father for not waking her up. Winfried, feeling alienated and unwanted, leaves in a taxi for the airport. Ines continues with her work as normal, and several days later arranges to meet two female friends at a bar. While Ines and her friends are chatting, a man approaches and introduces himself as "Toni Erdmann". The man is clearly Winfried, disguised in a wig and with false teeth, but Ines does not let on. Ines' two friends politely engage "Erdmann" in conversation, and he explains that he is a life coach and consultant visiting Bucharest to attend the funeral of his friend's turtle.

Ines is increasingly frustrated and unfulfilled in her work and personal life, but continues to encounter "Erdmann" sporadically at parties or outside her office. At first Ines is angry with her father, and accuses him of trying to "ruin" her. However, as time goes on she comes to see the worth of her father's interventions in her life, and plays along with the "Erdmann" ruse. "Erdmann" accompanies her on a night out with her work friends, and eventually even comes to a business meeting with her. In turn, "Erdmann" takes Ines to a Romanian family's Easter party, where he forces her into a reluctant and comical, yet powerful, performance of Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All". After her performance, Ines promptly rushes off.

Back at her flat, Ines is preparing to host a business brunch to celebrate her birthday. She struggles to zip up her tight dress, realizes her shoes don't match, and attempts to change clothes. The doorbell rings. Instead of redressing, or changing her outfit, she opens the door naked. Spontaneously, she decides to tell her guests that her birthday brunch is a "naked party". Each of them reacts differently, with some leaving in disgust while others self-consciously strip off. As the party becomes increasingly awkward, Winfried arrives dressed in a full-body Bulgarian kukeri costume. The costume frightens Ines' colleagues, but when Winfried leaves the party Ines follows him. Outside in a public park, father and daughter hug and share a moment of intimacy—despite Winfried's impractical and incongruous costume.

Months later, Ines returns to Germany for her grandmother's funeral. She explains that she has quit her job in Bucharest and will shortly begin a new job in Singapore with McKinsey & Company. After the funeral, Winfried and Ines play with some funny hats in the garden of her grandmother's house, and reflect on the nature of happiness.

Information & booking:

Organization: Filmclub

At 7.30pm in the foyer of the Forum Bressanone

More information:

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