If this month’s featured German actor looks familiar you may not be mistaken. When hipster art-house director Wes Anderson made The Grand Budapest Hotel, it made sense for him to cast European actors in a very European flavored film. One of those cast is Florian Lukas. The Berlin-based actor portrayed Pinky, one of the prisoners that Monsieur Gustave (played by Ralph Fiennes) befriends.
But Lukas can’t be accused of going Hollywood. The actor has a long list of credits in German language films and television. This month’s German language film recommendations for German language learners features Florian Lukas’ Nordwand, Die Fremde, and Good Bye, Lenin!
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 historical events around the climb but also the personal relationships of those involved. Lukas portrays Andi Hinterstoisser and Benno Fürmann plays Toni Kurz, the German team of mountain climbers.
In 2010’s Die Fremde — titled When We Leave in English — Sibel Kekilli portrays Umay, a young housewife in Istanbul. Abused and unhappy in her marriage, she decides to run away with her son and return to her family in Berlin. Unfortunately for Umay, her deeply conservative Muslim family turn their back on her. Umay struggles to find a way to survive and protect her son as she befriends Stipe, a German coworker played by Lukas.
Good Bye, Lenin!
As Alex Kerner (portrayed by Daniel Brühl) tries to get his life together as a young man in East Germany, it isn’t easy. That fact that his mother is a strong supporter of the communist government and he isn’t doesn’t help either. Coincidentally, she falls into a coma after a near-fatal heart attack just as Germany reunites. When she awakes, doctors tell Alex and his sister that any shock to their mother could be fatal. Fearful that news of the DDR’s demise could be the end for his mother, Alex concocts a plan to keep the news from her. He rigs up a television to show old programming and has a West Berlin friend (portrayed by Lukas) “broadcast” newscasts. He searches for food brands that now no longer exist. He forces the family to dress in the old styles. The film is directed by Wolfgang Becker.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo by Stefan Klüter, from Florian Lukas’ official Facebook page.