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Lost in Karastan

The celebrated author and filmmaker Emil Forester is invited to a festival in a fictitious Caucasus republic and meets a film enthusiast dictator, who makes Forester an offer he can’t refuse: The film adaptation of Karastanian national myth.

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Films about filmmakers are popular among directors, and film critics, too, like a glimpse behind the scenes of a film production. Audiences, on the other hand, are less enthusiastic about the self-reflexive navel gazing and the whiny ins and outs of the creative film process. Yet this seems inevitable given that such films are often about the projects doomed to fail. The Brit Ben Hopkins has to lot to say about this. He made his name with his first two films SIMON MAGUS and THE NINE LIVES OF TOMAS KATZ, but then fell into a creative hole. Something similar happens to the main character in WELCOME TO KARASTAN, the celebrated author-filmmaker Emil Forester (Matthew MacFadyen). He is invited to a festival in the fictitious Caucasus republic of Karastan where he experiences all kinds of oddities: folklore orchestras, decaying socialist charm, and above all a film enthusiast of a dictator who offers Forester a deal he can’t refuse: To direct a huge epic film about a Karastan national hero. But the director soon finds himself in trouble with both the local rebels fighting for independence and the dictator. One can only hope that Hopkins and his co-screenwriter, the Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski (MY SUMER OF LOVE, IDA) haven’t experiences what they depict in WELCOME TO KARASTAN. The political complexities in the second half of the film are crudely narrated but there are a few moments when one sees a glimpse of the old Hopkins and his early successes.

Michael Meyns

Credits

Original title: Lost in Karastan
Großbritannien/Georgien/Frankreich 2014, 99 min
Genre: Comedy
Director: Ben Hopkins
Author: Ben Hopkins, Pawel Pawlikowski
Music: Andreas Lucas
Distributor: Piffl Medien GmbH
Cast: Matthew MacFadyen, Noah Taylor, Myanna Buring
FSK: 12
Release: 21.05.2015

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

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

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