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Paths in the Night

GER 1999, 95 min

An eerily stunning and haunting film about the social and emotional demise of a man who is not able to adapt to life in post-unified Berlin.


Walter was once a respected man, a communist, with an important role at a power plant in the former GDR. He is now unemployed; left feeling powerless, frustrated and angry. He appoints himself as keeper of justice with two young recruits (René and Gina). They patrol the trains by night, beating those that assault or insult fellow commuters. It is Walter’s way of asserting control over a society he is loosing control of.


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Language: German, Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Press reviews

The opening film of Directors’ Fortnight at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, PATHS IN THE NIGHT is a dramatic work shot in haunting black and white. Set against the backdrop of post-unification Germany, the film explores the breakdown of relations in a decaying social structure. – Harvard Film Archive

Awards and Festivals

– 1999 Weltpremiere, Filmfestspiele Cannes: Eröffnungsfilm der "Quinzaine des Realisateurs"
– Deutscher Filmpreis für Henriette Heinze
– Filmband in Gold für Kamermann Jürgen Jürges
– Filmfestival Karlovy Vary: Bester Darsteller Hilmar Thate
– 1999 Filmfest München
– 1999 Potsdamer Filmfest
– 1999 Studio Babelsberg: made in Berlin
– 1999 Filmfest Cottbus
– 1999 Filmfest Braunschweig
– 1999 Filmfest Lünen
– 1999 Century Reggio Calabria
– 1999 World Film Festival Montreal: Cinema Tomorrow
– 1999 IFF Rio de Janeiro
– 1999 IFF Haifa: Wettbewerb
– 1999 IFF Flandern: Wettbewerb
– 1999 IFF Chicago: World Cinema
– 1999 IFF Busan
– 1999 AFI Washington
– 1999 Museum of Modern Art New York: Deutsche Filmreihe
– 1999 Deutsche Filmwoche in Paris
– 1999 Strasbourg Forum du Cinema
– 1999 IFF Turin
– 1999 IFF Thessaloniki: New Horizions
– 1999 Festival des europäischen Films, Wels: Wettbewerb
– 1999 Kulturtage Nantes
– 1999 IFF Mar del Plata
– 1999 Kulturtage Lille
– 1999 Deutsche Filmwoche in London
– 1999 Bundesfilmpreisnominierung: Bester Film
– 2000 IFF Neu Dehli
– 2000 Filmfestival Rennes
– 2000 Tromso IFF, Norwegen: Wettbebewerb
– 2000 Berlin und Beyond, San Francisco
– 2000 German Showcase Boston
– 2000 IFF Göteborg
– 2000 American Cinema Foundation in LA
– 2000 Cinequest San Jose, USA: Special Presentation
– 2000 IFF Singapore
– 2000 IFF Istanbul
– 2000 Midnight Sun, Finnland
– 2000 Cinemanila, Phillippinen
– 2000 Lagow Lubuskie Lato Filmowe, Polen
– 2000 Espoo cine, Finnland
– 2000 Potsdamer Filmfest: Spielfilmpreis


Andreas Kleinert
Johann Bergk
Director of Photography
Jürgen Jürges
Gisela Zick
Andreas Hoge, Steven Garling
Hilmar Thate, Cornelia Schmaus, Henriette Heinze, Dirk Borchardt, Ingeborg Westphal, Daniela Hoffmann, Roland Schäfer
Production Design
Gabriele Wolff
Frank Löprich, Katrin Schlösser
Produced by
ö Filmproduktion


LEB WOHL, JOSEPH (66min, GDR 1989), EDITH BEI CLÄRCHEN (15 min, GDR 1985), Interview with Andreas Kleinert (GER 2010, 20 min), Trailer
English, Spanish, French
Country Code
PAL / b/w
95 min + 101 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
4:3 Letterbox
Sound Format
DD 2.0
Softbox (Set Content: 1)
Release Date
From 16 Years