German Film Club
Cooperation between Kedai Kebun Forum (KKF) and Goethe Institut Jakarta
Wednesday, 5 September 2018, 7pm
Auditorium, Kedai Kebun Forum (KKF)
Jl. Tirtodipuran 3, Yogyakarta
Open for public and free
The Age of Cannibals (Die Zeit der Kannibalen)
Director: Johannes Naber, 2014, feature film, 93 min., German with English subtitles
Cast: Devid Striesow, Sebastian Blomberg, Katharina Schüttler
Three successful and cold-blooded business consultants tour the industrial centres of the world as front-line soldiers of global capitalism to enforce what has been deemed efficient elsewhere. A grotesque story that is both coolly remote and shrill, which is both very thrilling and extremely entertaining with its dark humour.
Öllers and Niederländer are business consultants. For years, they’ve toured the globe as the highly-paid grunts of international capitalism. However, they’ve always maintained a distance to the reality “out there”, which they only perceive as a dusty silhouette behind the windows of their air-conditioned luxury hotels. So far, both managers have always believed they’ve had everything under control. But suddenly they have to deal with a new colleague. She’s been brought in to replace their old pal Hellinger, who has an unexpected “career jump” – becoming a co-partner in the company. But this is only the beginning of the terror yet to come. Why does Hellinger throw himself out of a window so soon after arriving at the peak of business success? And what about the rumours of a hostile corporate takeover? Nerves become increasingly frayed. AGE OF CANNIBALS is a coolly remote, grotesque and shrill story about the fall from the Temples of Hubris to the Hades of wretchedness. Meanwhile, Muslim guerrillas have also stormed the hotel. (Ralph Eue)
AGE OF CANNIBALS examines the inner worlds of three business consultants who develop and liquidate production sites around the world for an unnamed international corporation. As global power brokers beyond politics, they are not answerable to the public and their only objectives are promoting their careers and their company’s profit.
Their lives are optimised for efficiency, so they spend their time in hotel suites, lounges and conference rooms that look the same the world over. Here, they work, sleep and eat. Here, they also receive their customers and hold meetings.
The film shows the grotesque side of this luxury prison. The coordinate systems of the heroes are not based on reality, but on an artificial world that they themselves have created. The only reality that matters for them is room service and their company’s optimisation tools.
The state of unfettered capitalism has been adequately described over the past few years; the desire for regulation is social consensus. And yet fixed habits prevail. Despite knowing better, the world of politics can no longer free itself from the grip of the economy.
One can only confront this absurd state of affairs with an absurd film. Therefore, AGE OF CANNIBALS completely ignores current trends in German cinema; it rejects realism. It was shot entirely in the studio. The scenery outside the windows of the hotel rooms consists of cardboard boxes and artificial fog. The characters are larger than life, and the plot slips into the surreal. (Johannes Naber in January 2014)
“One doesn’t have to understand why Naber’s jet-black masterpiece is not running in competition at the Berlinale, but instead in the lower-tier category ‘Perspektive Deutsches Kino’. But the film is still a must-see. Rarely has so much been so aptly expressed and shown about the haughty world of globalised finance in such reduced form. And rarely has it been such darkly delightful fun.” (Berliner Morgenpost)
“In its black-humoured, uncompromisingly spiteful attitude, AGE OF CANNIBALS is revealing, enlightening and extremely entertaining at the same time.” (Tip Berlin)
“Sarcasm at its finest” (Blickpunkt: Film)
Born in 1971 in Baden-Baden. Johannes Naber studied Philosophy and Indian Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin from 1991 to 1993 and then Film and Media at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy. After completing his degree, he moved back to Berlin, where he works as a director and screenwriter.