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This Ain't California (2012)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 511 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 6 user | 35 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

However the "found footage" is not real Super 8 from the 1980s it's mocked up.

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David Nathan ...
Nico
Anneke Schwabe
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Storyline

This Ain't California is a celebration of the lust for life, a contemporary documentary trip into the world of roller boarding in the German Democratic Republic. A coming-of-age tale of three teenagers and their passionate love for a sport on the crumbling tarmac of the streets in the German Democratic Republic, which was considered very ill-fitting. The punk fairy tale is a story of the subversive powers of fun in that part of Germany, which had lost touch with its citizens. The film follows its three heroes from their childhood in the seventies through their teenage rebellion in the eighties, ending in the last summer of their life in the German Democratic Republic in 1989, when their life changed forever, and follows them to 2011. Written by Anonymous

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16 August 2012 (Germany)  »

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Great Story to Tell, But Rather a Letdown in Terms of Narrative
6 January 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

THIS AIN'T California tells a great story, of the growth and development of the nascent skateboarding culture in East Germany during the Eighties. Told through the biography of one of the leading protagonists in the movement, Dirk (aka Panik), this documentary tells of how a group of friends came together in a local housing estate, and developed their own approach to skateboarding - not necessarily in opposition to the West, but independently of it. Eventually the group came into contact with colleagues from West Germany, as well as other skateboarders from Europe and the United States; and they discovered that the community was far greater than they had anticipated. The group were not necessarily rebelling against communist rule; rather they were creating an alternative world in which personal fulfillment mattered more than collective good. This message is a powerful one; but devalued somewhat by the fact that much of the footage - which claims to be authentic from the Eighties - has been mocked up for the film. Moreover the narrative thrust becomes a little lost as the film unfolds; perhaps there ought to have been less slo-mo shots of the skateboarders in action and more emphasis on the multiple narrators - the group (now middle aged) looking back on their exploits.


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