“Als wir träumten” – screened in German with English subtitles – is Germany’s contribution to this years European Union Film Festival.
Premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, this pulsating, techno-scored drama from prolific German director Andreas Dresen (whose Stopped on Track won Cannes’s Un Certain Regard section in 2011) has been dubbed the East German Trainspotting. Set in the GDR city of Leipzig during 1990’s reunification, the film centres on a gang of tight-knit teenage males who, after the fall of the Wall, revel in belligerent, antisocial behaviour — drinking, drugging, thieving, fighting — in the face of an uncertain future. Dresen’s stylish handling of the material — adapted from the acclaimed same-name novel by countryman Clemens Meyer — includes Polaroid-tinted flashbacks, splashy chapter headings, and the sporadic use of voice-over by the film’s impressive lead, Merlin Rose (Wetlands). “Dresen’s fastest-paced work to date … Moving and thrilling” (Bénédicte Prot, Cineuropa).