BEERLAND
2013, Global Screen, 85 min, Germany, Dir: Matt Sweetwood

Matt Sweetwood hails from the Midwest. Though he has lived in Germany for over ten years, the people and their culture remain a mystery to him. He undertakes a last-ditch attempt to figure the place out: by exploring the heart of German culture, their beer. If he delves into their rites and rituals, explores all the contradictions and stereotypes, will that make him, finally, a part of them? The infinite variety of beers, breweries and beer fests, the age-old history of beer, is more overwhelming than the American ever imagined. The trail of his research leads him to places far off the beaten tourist path, light-years away from the Oktoberfest. He encounters people whose dialect he barely understands. Amazingly, he finds that a country as small a Germany is subdivided into a thousand different tongues and customs, with beer as the common thread. He discovers a land full of oddities and contradictions. The Germans are deathly serious and silly at the same time, tradition-bound and weirdly visionary. Ultimately, he forms a real bond with them, finding friends where he least expected them. In German and English with English subtitles.


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