GRAN TORINO HITS EUROPEAN THEATERS BY STORM: IN BIEBRICH CASTLE 2009
By Kevin Stoda, Germany
German cinema is raving about the somewhat forgotten (in the USA-only) 2008 film GRAN TORINO from Clint Eastwood. http://www.filmstarts.de/kritiken/99782-Gran-Torino.html
The world is craving films about more average and genuine American lives—and believe it or not, the dysfunctional families in a former-big-gas-guzzling-car manufacturing boomtown in Michigan offer such an insight of (view of) America!
This thirst for good and more genuine stories, i.e. which reflect the width and breadth of the American experience, especially in our economic-shell-shocked age, is very strong around the globe.
Particularly, the racist wars with Muslims and Arabs have spawned this interest in the American saga of multicultural and multi-generational integration.
I went to the early showing of the film, GRAN TORINO, last night at Castle Biebrich. [Yes, this movie theater is really a nice castle on the Rhine River where classic films are studied on a regular basis. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiesbaden-Biebrich
This particular 6:30pm showing was the premier of the English language version (with German subtitles) of GRAN TORINO in Germany.
The movie room in the third floor of the giant castle was filled when I went in. The German crowd awaiting at 9:00 the second showing of GRAND TORINO was absolutely overflowing the hallway. (I’m sure some folks had to be turned away.)
As a slow rain fell, I reflected on what I had just seen in the Castle Biebrich in Germany about life in Michigan-America 2008-2009 through the lens of Clint Eastwood (and cohorts) as the water bounced off my umbrella and I wandered in the evening light of the castle gardens.
According to internet blurbs, the plot of the film GRAN TORINO goes as follows.
“The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran, and examines his attitude to his neighbors, [including] a Hmong family. After Kowalski’s young neighbor, Thao tries to steal his Gran Torino and a Hmong gang attacks Thao for failing, Kowalalski reluctantly forms a relationship with the family.”