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Junges Licht

Meticulous Adolf Winkelmann paints a panorama of Germany’s mining district, the “Ruhrgebiet”, in the 60s that is at once nostalgic and unsentimental.


A regional film. Adolf Winkelmann, the great, old Ruhr area filmmaker (DIE ABFAHRER, JEDE MENGE KOHLE, NORDKURVE) has adapted the Ruhr area novel by Ralf Rothmann. In individual strong scenes a poetic, complex, and hard and soft panorama of the 60s arises. It’s summer, the father is working in the mines, 12 year old Julian is on summer break, and the mother is out of it. Sometimes she hits Julian until the spoon breaks. Sometimes the neighbor comes under the pretense of borrowing sugar. The mother then drives off with the little one and the two men are left to their own devices. There’s sandwiches every day, the occasional sparse male conversation, and a trip with a precocious girl from the neighborhood to a friend of the father’s. Julian is sitting on the balcony for days. The panoramic view: the coal mine. A diffuse warmth hangs over the images, but maybe it’s just the dust in the air. The industrial buildings are filmed like a natural wonder. The soundtrack is similar to Dylan heard from afar. JUNGES LICHT is definitely nostalgic but never sentimental. Beauty and toughness, tenderness and trauma lie close to each other. The father, a role model for the boy and a friend, shouts at his mother. The mother, always overwhelmed, has a sense of humor. And there is always something threatening in the air. As daily life trudges along the men risk their lives and health. Winkelmann switches the emotional registers from scene to scene effortlessly, often changing them within one scene and goes from color to black and white and from the square normal format to screen-filling cinemascope.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland 2016, 122 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Adolf Winkelmann
Author: Adolf Winkelmann
DOP: David Slama
Montage: Rudi Heinen
Music: Tommy Finke
Distributor: Weltkino Filmverleih
Cast: Peter Lohmeyer, Charly Hübner, Oscar Brose, Lina Beckmann, Magdalena Matz
FSK: 12
Release: 12.05.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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