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The Dreamed Path

THE DREAMED PATH (Der traumhafte Weg) Angela Schanelec, D 2016, 86 min

Out on festivals: Locarno, Toronto, Vancouver, Hamburg... Theatrical release: April 27th, 2017

Greece, 1984. Kenneth, an Englishman, and Theres, a German girl, sing in the street to finance their holidays. They are in love, but when Kenneth learns that his mother had an accident, he hastily returns home, leaving Theres behind. Later, starting to realize how much he needs her, he fails in his attempt to win her back.

30 years later in Berlin. Ariane, a 40-year-old TV actress, leaves her husband, a successful anthropologist, after a marital crisis. After moveing into an apartment near the main station, the husband start seing a homeless man outside his window. It is Kenneth, who does not know that Theres now also lives in Berlin. 


World premiere in Locarno on August 9th 2016, at 4:30 pm at Auditorium FEVI
Toronto International Film Festival - Wavelengths 2016
Filmfest Hamburg 2016
Vancouver International Film Festival 2016
Seville European Film Festival 2016
Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata 2016
Filmfest Hamburg 2016
Film Festival Cologne 2016
Braunschweig International Filmfestival 2016
HEIMSPIEL - Regensburger Filmfest 2016
Around the World in 14 Films, Berlin 2016
Human Rights Film Festival, Zagreb 2016
International Film Festival Rotterdam - Deep Focus 2017
FICUNAM | Festival Internacional de Cine UNAM, México 2017
Northwest Film Center’s 40th Portland International Film Festival 2017
Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, México2017
New Directors/New Films festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center & MoMA NY 2017
Mezinárodní filmový festival Praha – FEBIOFEST 2017
Mezinárodní filmový festival Praha – FEBIOFEST 2017
Hong Kong International Film Festival 2017
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2017
Locarno in Los Angeles Film Festival, Acropolis Cinema LA 2017
Tabakalera, San Sebastián, Spanien 2017
Jeonju International Film Festival, South Korea 2017
IndieLisboa International Film Festival 2017
Singapore International Film Festival 2017
Lima Independiente International Film Festival 2017
Letní filmová škola Uherské Hradiště 2017
Melbourne International Film Festival 2017
Filmwoche Buenos Aires 2017

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Press Coverage

Angela Schanelec’s continued lack of recognition, at least outside of Germany, is genuinely baffling. Judging from the dismissive-to-hostile reactions that followed the premiere of her eighth feature at the Locarno Film Festival, this regrettable state of affairs is unlikely to change. And yet, out of the competition entries I managed to see, The Dreamed Path is the only one I feel deserves to be called a masterpiece. (filmmakers, Giovanni Marchini Camia) read more...

In the absence of obvious cause and effect and anything more than the most fleeting of connections between its two sets of characters, The Dreamed Path relies instead on a system of repeating gestures to give it cohesion: bags and suitcases being packed and unpacked, hands exchanging objects or money, feet stationary or on uncertain terrain, bodies passing through doorways or lying in forlorn repose, their perversely emotional effect amplified by the tight Academy-ratio frame. If there are distinct echoes of Robert Bresson in Schanelec’s approach, none of her character’s gestures bring them transcendence, which isn’t to say that her worldview is without hope. While The Dreamed Path depicts existence as quiet, desperate stasis, untouched by the repercussions of relationships, politics, or even time itself, solace lies in the fact that children are still capable of moving and being moved. Schanelec has never enjoyed the same attention of many others awkwardly subsumed under the banner of the Berlin School, a fact which this bracing new work will hopefully change. To tie her austere, yet deeply felt vision to a particular trend is anyway a denial of its pure singularity. (, James Lattimer)

Angela Schanelec’s eighth feature, Der traumhafte Weg (The Dreamed Path), is a glorious existential sucker punch. Plot-wise, this wonderfully strange, narratively elliptical work from the Berlin School filmmaker moves between two worlds: a young couple’s holiday fling in Greece in 1984 that melts, unidentified, into the lives of an older couple who are separating in Berlin, thirty years later. Shot with chilling formal rigour, Schanelec manages to express everything—heroin addiction, the death of a parent, extinct hopes, solitude—through an intense Bressonian framing of mostly hands, feet, and torsos. The film builds its own trance-like rhythm while cold shouldering on-screen drama. Dialogue is stilted, sparse, each figure wrapped into themselves, and other than a cathartic burst of Flume’s remix of “You and Me”, most of the film passes in silence, stasis. When a young girl breaks her arm we only see her carry the ladder to a window and then her body resting on the floor, as if sleeping. Magnified by these gaps, the gestures of Schanelec’s lonely, aching bodies resonate far longer than any words. (, Annabel Brady-Brown)

There was probably no single film I’ve seen this year—in Wavelengths, at TIFF, or anywhere else for that matter, narrative or experimental—that has left me more befuddled than The Dreamed Path. (MUBI, Michael Sicinski) read more...

Awards and Festivals