The new German film God of Happiness was shown on the 4th of July as the opening film of the VIFF Vienna Independent Film Festival and won two top awards – Best Director award for Dito Tsintsadze and Ralf M. Mendle received the award for Best Cinematography.
It is a tragi-comedy set in modern Germany and tells the story of a former film director Georgi originally from Georgia who plays minor parts in crowd-scenes and also earns money on the side as a pimp of his black friend Ngudu.
The main theme of the film is alienation of people and their loneliness in a modern city. There is also a film within a film – a German film about Nazism, where Georgi plays.
This picture reflects the feeling of the protagonist that he is a second rate citizen in modern Germany. The culmination of the film is a ‘hanging’ of Georgi on the gallows installed on the film set.
Also the film where Georgi works is a reflection of a primitivization of the real World War II events in modern cinematography. Georgi is trying to hide his miserable situation from his daughter pretending to be rich and his African friend Ngudu takes resort in his magical powers and tries to communicate with his estranged mother. Somehow this is a movie about broken hopes and dreams, like the dream of Georgi’s daughter of becoming a ballet dancer.
Dito Tsintsadze described the film as very personal to him in his directors statement.
This film is very important to me…maybe even too personal, but this could make things even stronger!
The film has superb cinematography – the urban landscape creates a unique background for the scenes and the film is definitively one of the most important German films of the last 10 years.