Jules Werner and André Jung deliver cracking performances in Christophe Wagner’s noir thriller “Doudege Wénkel”.
Photo: samsa film
If you want to understand the national psyche, take a look at the country’s cinema output.
These 10 films, all with English subtitles, will offer an insight into how Luxembourgers think, their sense of humour and their relationship to recent history.
The finest noir thriller to come out of the grand duchy, Christophe Wagner’s film explores corruption in the financial industry and the seedier side of Luxembourg’s nightlife scene. It features cracking performances from Jules Werner and André Jung.
Scheduled for release on DVD around Christmas 2019, Luxembourg’s highest ever-grossing movie is based on the iconic comic book hero who gains his strength through Kachkéis (a runny cheese spread). Read our review here.
Govinda van Maele’s rural noir thriller with a surreal edge that also explores themes of immigration and integration, this stars Vicky Krieps who has since gone on to have a promising international career. Read our review here.
Club des chômeurs
Any of pioneering director Andy Bausch’s films will give you an insight into Luxembourg humour and the less glamorous side of society in the grand duchy. His breakthrough “Troublemaker” and most recent feature “Rusty Boys” are recommended (the latter doesn’t have English subtitles), but “Club des chômeurs” remains his most mature film.
Eng Nei Zäit
WWII and its aftermath are inescapable when talking about Luxembourg film. Christophe Wagner has made the best feature film about that period with this tragic drama about burying the memories of the Nazi occupation.
Donato Rotunno’s adaptation of Tullio Forgiarini’s novel “Amok” about troubled teenagers who embark on a perilousroad trip is authentic and bleak, and reveals a side of Luxembourg that all too often remains hidden.
Perl oder Pica
If you know any Luxembourgers born in the 1950s, then watch this film by the late Pol Cruchten--from the much-loved novel by Jhemp Hoscheit--to see how it was growing up here as a pubescent in the early 1960s.
Pasha Rafiy’s documentary follows Foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn around the world as he meets with politicians and diplomats, but also provides insight into his home life.
Often cited as the film that inspired dozens of young Luxembourgers to become filmmakers, Andy Bausch’s raw 1988 comic drama about a couple of losers planning a bank robbery has cult status, thanks largely to an iconic performance from the late Thierry van Werveke.
A documentary by artists Karolina Markiewicz and Pascal Piron about six young refugees who detail their fraught journey to Luxembourg and the problems they encounter once arrived in the grand duchy.
Luxembourg’s very own Video on Demand platform has a vast library of Luxembourg-made films and co-productions, many with English subtitles. It also features a nice selection of European and world cinema. The platform was initiated by the Filmakademie with the backing of Luxembourg independent producers and distributors through ULPA, in a partnership with the Film Fund and UniversCiné Belgium. Unless otherwise indicated, all the films listed here can be streamed via the site.