Currently one of five directors being celebrated at the Berlinale's Face to Face with German Films initiative, Valeska Grisebach's first film in a decade harnesses the western as a template by which to draw out eternal human conflicts in a intelligent genre update. In remote rural Bulgaria, a group of German workers are building a water facility. Meinhard, the reserved newbie in this all-male company, immediately draws the ire of the boorish team leader, not least for his willingness to mingle with the locals. Cast with convincing nonprofessional actors, Western is a gripping culture-clash drama, attuned both to old codes of masculinity and new forms of colonialism.
Western premiered at Cannes' Un Certain Regard, Toronto and NYFF and is a New York Times' Critics Pick. Now playing at Lincoln Center.