Silver Astor for Best Director - Valeska Grisebach
The wait was worth it. After eleven years, German director Valeska Grisebach comes back with a drama centered around a group of German workers in a rural town in Bulgaria. It's dual title not only alludes to a genre -which all of its characteristics has- but also to the space -which nothing is said about and everything is implied about- the plot is set in. Western proposes a particular question about the cultural clash and the different ways of seeing the world.
Centered on Meinhard, one of the German workers, but with a fluctuating point of view that focuses on the binomial civilization-barbarism, Grisebach's third film proposes a contemporary debate about the invisible frontiers of culture and language. With amazing performances by non-professional actors, Western works as an amplified reflection of the region's historical and political reality.
The encounter between the inhabitants and the foreign workers bring to the table rejection to what is different and its consequent tension. In the natural fight for survival, conflicts arise. However, at the same time, a beam of understanding transcends, a place where the other can be met and recognized.