With piercing blue eyes, if you’ve already seen actor Benno Fürmann in films, you’d probably remember him. But it wouldn’t be surprising as he’s over 80 credits to his name. For this month’s German film recommendations for practicing your German skills we’ll focus on just three of those films featuring Fürmann. My recommendations are three great films: North Wall (Nordwand), Jerichow and The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin).
North Wall (Nordwand)
In 1936, two teams of mountain climbers — one German and one Austrian — competed to be the first to reach the top of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps via the mountain’s northern face. Naturally, the climb wasn’t without its problems for either team. Based on actual events, this suspenseful movie focuses not only on the historial events around the climb but also the personal relationships of those involved. Fürmann portrays Toni Kurz, one of the German mountain climbers.
Based partially on the James M. Cain novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, Jerichow follows Fürmann as Thomas, an Afghan war veteran who is a bit of a loner and a man of not many words. While home for his mother’s funeral, he sets up home in the quiet town. Shortly thereafter he meets Ali, the owner of a chain of snack bars who is without a driver’s license after some alcohol-related offenses. Thomas quickly becomes Ali’s driver and, thereafter, begins an affair with Ali’s wife, Laura. They’re playing with a dangerous secret, especially considering that Ali’s not shy about abusing his wife.
The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin)
After Tom Tykwer’s smash hit Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run), he followed it up with Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior). Starring Fürmann and Lola actress Franka Potente, the film focuses on Potente’s Sissi, a nurse in a mental ward, who meets Bodo, a former soldier and bank robber, who saves her life. The interaction effects Sissi deeply as she pursues Bodo.
Top photo by Anja Limbrunner and courtesy Fürmann’s Facebook page.