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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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
Is it a documentary? Is it a feature? First time writer and director Marten Persiel tells us that it is actually both, more of a 'documentary tale' of sorts. This description of the German subtitled feature is quite fitting.
This Ain't California introduces us to a group of friends who are gathering for a funeral after-party, following the death of their once close friend 'Dennis 'Panik' Paracek. What follows is a reminiscence session of old memories and footage showing the rise of staking, hip-hop and break dancing all throughout the GDR controlled 1980's.
Split into several subheadings and with an additional back story, this ain't a normal documentary. It is an entirely fresh approach. Director Marten Persiel describes the films ethos was the keep away from the politics – especially the Berlin Wall. Instead the film fundamentally follows the subjective mind-set of a 17 year old of the era. This is reflected heavily, what with the shaky cam, youths doing a ton of impressive skateboarding tricks. All of that, but mixed with a mash of funky-techno music. Very unique in a sense, however it deeply echoes as just a blend of German sport advertisements merely with the brand logo missing. Sadly it is nothing more than that.
Filled with footage because it can, not because it should, Marten Persiel's first feature film still stands as an original take on a documentary and it is perhaps the first skating movie ever cared for.
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