Fern von uns

Far from Us
Verena Kuri, Laura Bierbrauer
2019

11.02.2019 19:15 Eng. subtitles CineStar 8
13.02.2019 22:00 Eng. subtitles Kino Arsenal 1
14.02.2019 19:00 Eng. subtitles Delphi Filmpalast
17.02.2019 11:00 Ger. subtitles CineStar 8

75 min. Spanish, German, Portuguese.

After a long period away, Ramira returns to her family, a community of farmers of German descent in the Argentinian rainforest. The process of bridging the distance that has grown up between her and her three-year-old son Matteo and her mother, who raised him, is difficult. Ramira hardly knows what to do with herself. She keeps feeling drawn to the house of her deceased father, where pigeons have nested. Fern von uns is a film that conveys emotional states via atmosphere, the feelings which emerge when people reencounter those close to them, yet still so far away. It’s about mourning what was, what is, and what isn’t. The soundtrack captures the humid climate in impressive fashion, rich in insects, birdsong and claps of thunder, which hangs over all the characters like a fever. Even the cows are sick – like ghosts, they repeatedly appear before the camera, which forges enchanting images of animals and landscape. The directors manage to tell this story with at once lyricism and a lack of sentimentality. When Ramira and Matteo spend the night in the old house at the end and eat hard-boiled eggs together, the snow that starts to fall the next morning suggests better times may still arrive. (Hanna Keller)

Verena Kuri was born in Augsburg, Germany in 1979. She studied film directing at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. She is a founding member of the Nabis Filmgroup, a group of directors dedicated to the production of arthouse films. Far from us is her second feature-length film.

Laura Bierbrauer was born in Darmstadt, Germany in 1980. She studied social anthropology at the University of Hamburg, as well as film at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. After completing her graduation film, Fantasmas de Capital, and finishing her studies in anthropology in 2010, she moved to Buenos Aires where she works as a filmmaker and editor. Far from us is her first feature-length film.

Seeking home

A feeling that accompanied us while working on FERN VON UNS can best be grasped by the German word ‘Heimsuchen’ (Heim = home, suchen = to seek; Heimsuchen means to haunt, afflict, stalk, beset, ravage – Ed.). The word is also used in other languages because there is no adequate translation. Perhaps the core of its meaning lies in a motion that contains opposing forces: the search for a home and, at the same time, the futility of the search because one is caught up by what was left behind.
In FERN VON UNS, a daughter returning home is haunted by the ghost of the past as she tries to establish a connection with her son. Animals seek refuge in the forest, and the legacy of an abandoned building strains family relations.
At the location where the film is set, we found traces of a distant past and of a new beginning: the Argentinian province of Misiones, located in the region along the border with Paraguay and Brazil, is characterised by a pronounced mixture of different cultures, which mainly stems from the fact that European migrants settled in this tropical land at the beginning of the 20th century. The inhabitants’ origins are apparent in their language, which sometimes seems to come from another time. In contrast to the thicket of the jungle, Misiones sometimes seemed to us like an invented place, built from elements of different realities. (Verena Kuri, Laura Bierbrauer)

Production Lukas Valenta Rinner, Santiago Carabante, Verena Kuri, Laura Biebrauer, Florencia Clérico. Production companies Nabis Filmgroup (Salzburg, Austria), Santiago Carabante (Posadas, Argentina), Nabis Filmgroup (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Laura Bierbrauer (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Florencia Clérico (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Written and directed by Verena Kuri, Laura Bierbrauer. Cinematography Andrés Aguiló, Federico Lo Bianco. Editing Laura Bierbrauer. Music Odin Schwartz. Sound design Nahuel Palenque. Costumes Mariángela Martínez Restrepo. With Marcia Majcher (Ramira), Cecilia Rainero (Joana), Mateo Giménez (Mateo), Juan Hintz (Juan), Susana Da Silva (Isabel), Gabriela Hintz (Gabriela), Juana Hintz (Lara), Arno Hintz (Arno), Rafael Hintz (Raymundo), Carlos Hintz (Carlos).

World sales Film Republic
Premiere February 11, 2019, Forum

Films

Verena Kuri: 2010: Epecuén (8 min., co-directed by Sofía Brockenshire). 2011: Geister / Ghosts (11 min.). 2017: Una Hermana / One Sister (68 Min., co-directed by Sofía Brockenshire). 2019: Fern von uns / Far from Us.

Laura Bierbrauer: 2005: Zwischen den Grenzen / Between the Borders (25 min., co-directed by Luise Donschen). 2010: Fantasmas de Capital / Ghosts of the Capital (50 min.). 2019: Fern von uns / Far from Us.