From: The Fabulous Picture Show

If Not Us, Who?

Filmmaker Andres Veiel looks into the emotional side of Germany’s turbulent post-war political scene.

With If Not Us, Who? director Andres Veiel looks into the psyches of the key figures of Germany’s radical and sometimes violent 1960s left-wing movement.

Amanda Palmer and filmmaker Andres Veiel

In sleepy provincial West Germany, Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Ensslin start a passionate affair and a radical publishing house, before moving to Berlin to join others attempting to foment revolution.

While Bernward struggles against psychedelic drugs to complete a world-changing novel, Gudrun teams up with Andreas Baader and becomes part of the violent RAF (Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhoff Group.)

How much is their radicalisation based on guilt about their parents’ very different involvement in Nazi politics? 

Andres Veiel talks to Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera’s head of entertainment, and the FPS audience in a Q&A about filming the emotional side of Germany’s turbulent post-war political scene.

Egypt’s Cinematic Revolution

Maskara Rock Band, Microphone

Egypt’s political revolution coincided with a revolution in filmmaking, as young directors have started making films away from their big-studio and state-funding system. FPS checks out three of Egypt’s first independent films:

678 deals with the taboo area of sexual abuse and harassment by looking at the lives of three women in Cairo, and shows how even the most middle-class wife of a doctor can find her life ruined by the repression and shame surrounding the issue.

Cairo Exit tackles religious difficulties and interfaith love with a story about a Muslim man falling for a Christian woman.

Microphone looks at how young rock bands struggle against the repressive authorities to put on concerts, while one all-girl heavy-metal band is banned on the basis of their gender.

Essential Killing

Essential Killing 

Revered Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s latest film, Essential Killing, stars Vincent Gallo as a prisoner fighting for his life after escaping an international rendition flight.

Set in a snowbound Polish forest, Gallo hardly utters a word as he falls back on his animalistic instincts to survive against the weather, the locals and authorities sent to capture him.

Skolimowski talks to FPS about how unleashing his inner animal was no problem for Gallo, and how he sees the violent story as a brutal modern fairy tale. 

Cannes Film Festival preview

Cannes, the world’s biggest, most important film festival, opens on May 11 (running until May 22), and 2011 sees the return of many favourite heavy-weight art directors, including Pedro Almodóvar, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, and Aki Kaurismäki.

This week on FPS we have sneak previews of some of the top films: Gus Van Sant’s Restless, Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life, and Melancholia from the auteur’s auteur, Lars Von Trier.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Friday, May 6 at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.