NameYears in ClubOverall QualityWhat did you like or not like about the film?
Maricela Disch20Very SatisfiedThis was actually my favorite film from them all! I appreciate the opportunity to watch it. This is what good film is all about! THank you.
Ken Smith4Not SatisfiedOnce again I find myself looking for something to like about a movie at Cinema Club. I have never professed to be anything resembling a "film critic", so I don't find it surprising that I struggle to appreciate films like this. Is this a bad film? No, it isn't. But it is a fairly finely defined niche film. Perhaps knowing some of the facts beforehand- that the "actors" were not really actors or that there was considerable improvisation and script-less dialog involved- would have predisposed me to a level of admiration. Even were that so, I still would have felt disingenuous stating that I liked the film. I will not be a false sophisticate.
I cannot call this review complete without addressing the introductory dialog of Alejandro. I understand these are difficult times and I truly appreciate his efforts. But I'm fairly certain I will not be a returning member next season. It is evident I lack the sophistication to appreciate the direction being taken with film choice. This realization (should it be shared by others), coupled with the trend for smaller theaters, should help the club come to a manageable sized membership.
I have enjoyed many films and even more discussions afterwords. I would hope that the members I have compared experiences with over the past few seasons enjoyed the exchanges as much as I- maybe they will miss me. I wish you all well and I hope the club continues for decades to come.
Sara5Very SatisfiedI really enjoyed this film. It was quiet, slow, interesting. I was fascinated with the characters and their interactions. Really unusual situations like when the politician was trying to shake the crew down for money and the gun came into play but nothing came of it. I really appreciate being a voyeur in a culture and situation entirely unfamiliar. Very enlightening. I also appreciate your facilitation of the club - you put much thought into all the details and it shows. All films and your work are why I come to cinema club...
Miriam Leiseroff - SatisfiedI expressed my opinion already during the discussion, but I want to reiterate that I did not like the horse scene. I agree with other club members: I do not like to see animals getting hurt. Also, I would have liked the ending better, if Meinhard had just walked out of there. What I did like about the movie (and of course, I’m a little prejudice here) is that it was in German (mostly) and that the German the characters spoke was in Berlin dialect. The story is good, but the plot had holes in it. However, all in all, not a bad movie.
Kate - Very SatisfiedLoved this film! Extremely interesting theme of Germans as the Gastarbeiter in another country and their trials at integrating with the local community despite language and historical barriers. As a German speaker it was intriguing following the conversations and seeing how often expressions helped convey messages. Also refreshing that the filmmaker didn't feel obliged to follow the traditional expectations of endless explanations and tying things up with a bow at the end!
Kelly7Somewhat SatisfiedThought movie was slow and too long. I understand you needed some of that time to to "build" the relationship building between main character and villagers, but they could have cut out some of the numerous scenes showing the scenery and them all SMOKING. Losing horse also affected me, though I could see it coming. Liked main character and his struggle to find community/family.
Nathan14Somewhat SatisfiedDuring the movie, I thought it was themes we had seen before (strong silent male and dealing with nature). I wanted more narrative and assertive characters. After q&a I appreciated the themes and its scenes more. I would recommend not overloading the club with movies that are more enjoyable academically than emotionally.
judy3SatisfiedI like more of a plot - however - the acting was wonderful. The relationships rang true, the tension, the bonding, the underlying hostility - all resonated with us.
jim rauh10Somewhat SatisfiedUltimately, tho there were a couple of memorable quietly played out scenes, this is simply a slice of life film that is quickly forgotten.
Janet T Truman - SatisfiedAdjusting to the languages was the first handicap; then sorting the characters; once that was done i liked the angst between the villages and the workers. It was obvious that the "boss" was a bully and the fact that he was "whipped" by his female lover still didn't make him likable. He was abusive from the beginning and his arrogance taking the horse to serve his own greed was believable. The main character was very interesting in that he was both weak and then determined. His approach to understand the Bulgarians and his attempts to bridge the two cultures was important. The sex didn't matter....the exchange of knowledge and his last moment to find his inner home was quite moving.
Jean15SatisfiedWell, I knew the horse was going to be toast from the beginning, so this was nagging at me until it happened. I don't watch/listen to ANY scene of any animal being hurt......and unfortunately for me I did see the scene the next day or 2 later when the horse was shot. So, it lingered for some time.
Having said that, I didn't like the character who harmed the horse from the get go. He seemed very dangerous on many levels. I felt that he was a sexual predator/perp. His comments to the main character in the beginning of the film were sexually charged and antagonistic.
Interesting film. Kind of like "Strangers in Good Company" in that no professional actors were used. However, "Strangers" was a masterpiece of character studies.
Thanks, and I am looking forward to a fun, progressive, non-bitchy (grow up or leave people) film club going forward.
Jenn - SatisfiedIt was way too long for me. I didn't like that I couldn't tell which language said which line and I felt the film didn't have a point.
ME McTamaney4Not SatisfiedIt was slow and seemed plotless. The discussion came up with a more nuanced interpretation which was interesting. As a luddite, however, I would prefer clear plot and more mainstream formula, more of a popular approach. In the past we had more of these, Bernie, I robot and a Woody Allen film. I like films that are offbeat, but still related to the mainstream.
Marie Becker2SatisfiedWhile I can’t say I disliked it, I can’t say I liked it either. Too slow and without any real message or point for me.
David Lang23SatisfiedI thought the film was intellectually interesting for the most part, but it seemed oddly detached from its own subject. It was certainly a very literary film, and I have a feeling it would work much better as a short story than it did as a film. I rather admire it for what it was attempting to do and I am glad I saw it, but I would not see it again.
Mickie Constantino6SatisfiedToo slow but really made me think, What was he looking for, I think he found it. How gentle involvement can win.
Linda Davidge1Very SatisfiedIt took a while to get into it but once in I was curious, shocked, interested, concerned. The discussion afterward helped me to realize how much depth there is in the film concerning political disputes, cultural, etc. Many layers of interpretation. Good choice!
Ray Bravo23Somewhat SatisfiedThe film was OK, I just kept waiting for something to happen. The acting was also good, considering the cast was were not professional actors. I am glad we had one last showing at Camera Three, since that is where the Club first started.
Kurt13Not SatisfiedWhen Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village,” she obviously didn’t mean this one.
Sofía Blanc22SatisfiedKind of slow but I enjoyed how the story developed. Great photography and landscape
Janet19Somewhat SatisfiedNormally I love foreign films but this one didn't engage me. I did like the discussion and developed more of an appreciation for the film after learning more about it. But I would never recommend this film to anyone.
Susan3Not SatisfiedDull, uninteresting and uninspiring.
don Hadlock - Not SatisfiedThe best I could peace together was it was a meandering journey without outcome. Our hero was a failed diplomat.
Marilyn13Somewhat SatisfiedSubtitles tend to detract somewhat on ability to fully enjoy a film. This one didn't have enough offsetting qualities to make it compelling for me. Perhaps I'm just not "sophisticated" enough to have been able to appreciate whatever the intent was of this film.

However, I do appreciate the efforts being made to sustain our Cinema Club. Hope we make it passed all this upheaval.
Judy10Very SatisfiedI liked the main character's search for a life he hadn't had before. I thought the ending was pretty clear in that he turned around and walked back to the villagers & joined in the dancing. Meinhard reminded me of a Clint Eastwood type character but Clint would have kep walking in the end. I enjoyed the interplay of the Germans with the villagers. The building project was such an interesting example of building big, serious,"infrastructure' (and for profit of course) when the more simplistic infrastructure of the valve on the well worked just fine for the villagers.
As others mentioned I did have a hard time at first figuring out who was speaking if you couldn't see the faces.
Great discussion afterwards! Always adds so much to the film.
Martin Bell20Very SatisfiedI don't have a lot of respect for unscripted films, but I kind of loved this one. There were many moments of tension as encounters and lack of understanding opened the door to potential violence, and just as many tender moments where relationships were formed and trust was built. I love how the Germans come in with a brash plan to inflict their will on nature with big equipment and uniform holes filled with rebar and concrete. This is quite at odds with the Bulgarians who built a wall by looking at the face of each rock (which they compare to a human face) and find the right place for it to fit in.
Vicki Wolfe13Not SatisfiedOn the whole, I love foreign films, enjoy slow pacing and rich character development, and don't feel the need for a clearly-spelled-out plot. However, I DO require characters I care about and a story that interests me in some way. I found "Western" to be lacking in these things. I didn't particularly care about any of the characters and found the story unpleasant, uninteresting, and way too long.
Gayle7Somewhat SatisfiedI sorta got it as the film played, but not enough to make it very enjoyable. The discussion after was much more enlightening.

So far, your choices of film are pretty avant garde and not to my liking. I hope it changes as a steady diet or I see myself leaving the club.
Melissa4SatisfiedI enjoyed this slice of life film. The pacing was slow, but overall I felt the film stayed true to the sentiment, customs, and ideals of the people portrayed in the film. My kudos again for featuring another female director. I did walk away from the discussion with one thing that kept nagging at me. I would have liked to ask the director and get more perspective on what the purpose of the sex scene was? I have to say that the sex scene in the Hero movie also bothered me. I think both films would have been fine without the sex scenes. In this film, it was disappointing because he seem to have a connection with the woman who was drying tobacco, but then he goes for the stereotypical younger woman. I do think it was in part a way for him to get back at his boss, but I still could have done without it. At 39 years old I would by no means describe myself as a prude or claim that this is just a product of my generation, I believe there are many older men that chase after young women, however what is the point to display these sex scenes in film? Is it simply a male fantasy, as the romantic comedy love scenes are to women? Is this just a case of sticking to reality and I am just personally bothered by it? I don't know, but it does make me wonder.
CW25Not SatisfiedI thought it was too slow, I didn't find the characters appealing; with the current news I found this mildly depressing without any uplift; I didn't understand the problem with water shortage when the construction was near a river!!!; I can't stand watching animals getting hurt;
jayne10Very SatisfiedExcellent film, simplicity gave way to dealing with universal contemporary issues: immigration/cross-culture conflict, finding home, finding family, how to get along and how not to get along (bullying), loneliness, community, life of labor classes. ... A really fine film that brought me back to "can't we all just get along" - i may have edited the film a bit
- 19Somewhat SatisfiedThis was a movie about outsiders which never really lets you in and after I went home I thought about the film and that was my objection to it I was in a world totally removed from my reality yet I was never immersed in it. I wish the rating was different because I'm not disappointed I saw the film, I wish that the film had been able to have me live in the progtagonist skin enough so I too feel the heartache for his"paradise" lost when his closest ally and friend basically leaves him in dirt saying what did you expect, were are just village, we are just people. the movie made me think and I think for a movie club movie those are the best kind.
Kathy B4SatisfiedI liked the location, beauty of scenery, understanding some of the German, and the Dobry Den greeting which I experienced in Czech Reublic, also Bulgarian? The sense of community Mann searching for, got too long but never turned to real violence as in most westerns. Disturbing horse scene, could have done without. Liked music at the end. Main character good:
Suzy weiss2SatisfiedI found the film intriguing in going through all the different ideas I had about what this film was trying to reveal. In the conversation afterward I was quite impressed that there were no professional actors. I really liked the loner guy and thought he did an excellent job of acting given he was not a pro.
Colleen Block3Very SatisfiedI made my comments known after film. In general I understood Meinhard. He carried a difficult past while warily trying to see where he fit in and to my view desperatly looking for community for fitting into and perhaps finding acceptance and even love.
Raylene - Somewhat SatisfiedI enjoy foreign films quite a bit and I appreciated what the filmmaker was trying to convey but overall it was very slow going. I really enjoyed the discussion after and everyones take on it. It gives you things to think about from someone else's prospective.
Gerri20SatisfiedSensitive, thoughtful look at a culture that I am not familiar with. It was tough going at times because of a lack of plot. The conversation afterward enhanced my appreciation of this sometimes difficult film which is what a good conversation should do.
Terri23Somewhat SatisfiedThe pacing was glacial and I thought it would never end. Much was explained when we learned that it wasn't scripted. The discussion afterward was interesting, as usual, and I began to appreciate and understand more than while I was watching it. But I would never want a repeat viewing. The idea makes me cringe.
Lisa16Somewhat SatisfiedI thought it was long, slow & pointless. I've rarely seen that much effort put into a film that then failed to develop into anything. Yep, nations collide, and men can be jerks... is that it? I do love seeing scenery of new places, but that faded pretty quickly. This one's probably at the bottom of my list of Club offerings.
Denise Reynolds25Satisfiedloved the film - It held my attention and that is a huge thing!
Robbie Finley1SatisfiedFascinating film, didn't pick up on the obviously intentional Western genre themes as much as I did on the Western culture clash aspects and the folly of masculinity. Meinhard's mustache was mesmerizing.
Justin23Somewhat SatisfiedTo me nothing special about the film, and I don't understand what critics saw in it that I did not.
However, my heart bleeds for Alejandro for whatever he is going thru this year.
Deborah5Somewhat SatisfiedLike someone said after the showing, it was a good film, but I did not enjoy it. It was too slow and too long.
Fay Harmon23SatisfiedIt was slow but I enjoyed it overall. I enjoy a foreign film especially one that brings us to a place I've never been or probably won't in the future. I always enjoy the discussion after the movie to hear all the different "takes" on the film.