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 ...
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Öllers and Niederländer have everything under control. For the past six years, the two successful business consultants have been traveling through some of the seediest countries around the world in order to satisfy their clients' greed.
Eight friends help each other repeatedly move house. One year of moving, from apartment to apartment, from shared flat to shared flat. These changes of the apartment are also a changes of relations -some break, others grow.
In October 1989, the part of the West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg called SO 36, had been largely shut off by the Wall from the rest of the city for 28 years. A lethargic sub-culture of ... See full summary »
A group of kids grow up on the short, wrong (east) side of the Sonnenallee in Berlin, right next to one of the few border crossings between East and West reserved for German citizens. The ... See full summary »
Life could be just great for bank robber Keek: His buddy Kalle is doing time for their last coup, while Keek has to retain the loot. Kalle will spend two more years in jail, so Keek is not ... See full summary »
On 24th August 1992 in the eastern German city of Rostock a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building ... See full summary »
Alfons Zischl, mayor of Hindafing, tries to give his community a new image by building a mall for organic food. Soon enough the whole village is taking part in his corrupt games, entangling Zischl in growing debt and dubious obligations.
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
Great Story to Tell, But Rather a Letdown in Terms of Narrative
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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