Author Leon (Thomas Schubert) and photographer Felix (Langston Uibel) arrive at a beach house by the Baltic Sea to work on their respective artistic pursuits only to learn that they won’t be alone; Nadja (Paula Beer) will be joining them. She cooks delicious food, plays music late at night, and invites her maybe-boyfriend Devid (Enno Trebs) to join them, simultaneously irritating and intriguing Leon. As he finds himself drawn closer to her, the dry summer heat slowly transforms the forest around them into kindling for a raging fire.
German auteur Christian Petzold reunites with muse Beer for his third collaboration with the actress after Transit and Undine in this eerily romantic character study. Punctuated by immersive audio and the song “in my mind” by Wallners, Petzold and his collaborators drop us in a dreamlike daze that feels both remarkably grounded and subtly delirious. Deeply relevant in its commentary on climate change while timeless in its approaches to romance and regret, Afire burns even brighter than the sum of its stunning parts.––Cyrus Cohen
After the screening: Join us for a Q&A with star Paula Beer.