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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Renn, wenn du kannst (Run, if you can)

Starts July 29

When first meeting Ben (Robert Gwisdek) he comes across as a “real pain…” – cool and detached – but as the story unfolds, one realizes that it is a shield against the painful life he has to lead. As the result of a car accident seven years ago Ben was left paralysed from the waist down and fully dependent on help from strangers. He is looked after by Zivis (young men or women doing voluntary social work for six months). Friendly and easy-going Zivi Christian (Jacob Matschenz) arrives at his doorsteps. He is unperturbed by Ben’s rude behaviour laconically asking: “Should I rather come back another day?” On the way to Ben’s house Annika (Anna Brüggemann) collided with him when her bicycle ran off the road. Ben saw the accident from the balcony of the high-rise. For the last two years he had been watching Annika cycling past his apartment – the heavy cello on her back – heading for the university.

The three become friends, confiding in their dreams and unfulfilled wishes. Christian wants to study medicine but has to discover that he cannot stand blood. Annika wants to become a great musician but freezes as soon as she is in front of an audience. Ben hangs on to his tall stories and cynical jokes. Secretly, both men fall in love with Annika. How will this affect their friendship?

For his brilliant, comical and intelligent movie debut Dietrich Brüggemann wrote the script together with his sister Anna (playing Annika). The dialog balances between witty to poignant sarcasm. Tragic situations turn out to be funny, sad situations are part of daily routine and are taken with black-humour. Brüggemann dare to break taboos by staying authentic and close to reality but en passant allowing for some fantasy. The young Robert Gwisdek stands out with performing a demanding role but also the two other main actors are to be commended for their convincing portrayals. This bold and fresh story is told in a touching and very entertaining way.

It is good to see that Renn, wenn du kannst was screened at various film festivals, i.e., Shanghai, Seattle, Montreal, Paris and has since received several awards.

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