In 2020, we have had many interesting German premieres.Among them, some great action movies, dramas, documentaries, as well as a few comedies. There have also appeared numerous interesting entertainment programs on TV. In this article, we do not limit ourselves to any specific genre or form and will talk about the best German films and TV shows in 2020.

  1. Lassie Come Home, directed by Hanno Olderdissen

This film is based on Eric Knight’s novel Lassie, which has been translated into 25 languages ​​and filmed multiple times. Hanno Olderdissen directed the new version of the famous plot. By coincidence, a young collie named Lassie is separated from the owner and sent to live on a rich estate. However, Lassie, keeping the memory of its real friend, escapes from the mansion to visit amazing places, make new acquaintances, and even take a yacht ride on the way home. The film premiered in Germany on February 20. 

Photo: IMDb press materials

  1. Unorthodox miniseries, directed by Maria Schrader

This is an amazing rebirth story about a girl who escaped from her community to change her life, based on true events. The miniseries debuted on Netflix on March 26, 2020, it is inspired by Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The series earned eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series (Shira Haas), Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series (Maria Schrader), and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series (Anna Winger).

The plot tells us about Esty, a 19-year-old Jewish woman living unhappily in an arranged marriage among the ultra-Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. She flees to Berlin, where her mother lives, and tries to build a new life outside her community and rejecting all the beliefs she grew up with. Esty’s husband, upon learning that she is pregnant, travels to Berlin with his cousin to find her by order of their rabbi.

Photo: IMDb press materials

  1. Schlingensief - A Voice that Shook the Silence, directed by Bettina Böhler

This is a German documentary film by Bettina Böhler. The film is a portrait of Christoph Schlingensief, who was shaping the cultural and political discourse in Germany for decades. German playwright, actor, and director Christoph Schlingensief would have turned 60 in 2020. The world premiere took place on February 21, 2020, as part of the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. The German theatrical release is scheduled for August 20, 2020.

The documentary portrays Christoph Schlingensief’s life and work based on film excerpts, recordings of his theater productions, private film recordings, and historical interviews with Schlingensief himself. The filmmaker focuses on Schlingensief’s ongoing confrontation with Germany. The relationship to his homeland already preoccupied him as a young Super-8 filmmaker, it remained a central theme of his work in films and later theater and opera productions. The title refers to the way post-war German society dealt with its National Socialist past.

At the presentation of the German Film Award 2020, Schlingensief - A Voice that Shook the Silence received nominations in the categories of Best Documentary and Best Editing.

Photo: press materials

  1. Sleep, directed by Michael Venus

Sleep is a German thriller directed by Michael Venus, the script was written by Thomas Friedrich and Michael Venus. The film had its world premiere at the 70th annual Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020.

The psychological thriller tells of a daughter who wants to help her mother and comes across an old family secret. Three generations of women are connected to a village community that is plagued by a series of suicides. Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Marlene has been tormented by violent nightmares for years, she records them in detail in her dream diaries. When she happens to see pictures of the village of Stainbach in a travel journal, she recognizes it as the place where her dreams were set in motion. She goes there spontaneously without telling her 19-year-old daughter Mona anything about it...

Photo: Cineuropa press materials

  1. Freud TV series, directed by Marvin Kren

The Freud mini-series is set in Austria in the 19th century. The young founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, teams up with a medium and local police to find the serial killer terrorizing Vienna. Freud conducts investigations using his innovative methods, which cause distrust and bewilderment among his partners.

The television series re-imagines the life of young Sigmund Freud. So far, 8 episodes have been produced, with the first series airing on ORF beginning of March 2020. The Netflix release took place on March 23, 2020.

Photo: Wikipedia materials

  1. Our Wonderful Years - TV series, directed by Elmar Fischer

This is a drama from 2020 with Elisa Schlott and Vanessa Loibl. The German TV series tells the stories of several friends during the German economic miracle in the 1940s and 50s.

The story begins on June 21, 1948. The Wolf family and their friends stand in the long queue in front of the small bank in Altena, where the new currency, D-Mark, is being issued. The new money promises a new beginning for everyone — from the dark wartimes into a period of hope and breakout. Life drives the Wolfs and their friends to various corners of Germany, where all try to live their dreams.

Photo: ARD press materials

  1. Celebrities under Palm Trees, TV reality show

Celebrities under Palm Trees is a reality show from 2020 starring Désirée Nick and Carina Spack. In the new reality show, ten particularly extroverted celebrities are “full of energy”, they share a magnificent villa on the palm beach in Thailand and are confronted with all aspects of living together. Nobody can be sure who they will have to work with next in the team. New power relationships and team constellations arise in every program. In the end, everyone is a lone fighter with only one goal — to take home the profit of 100,000 euros and fame as a winner. The first season was broadcast on Sat.1 from March 25 to April 29, 2020. The second season is planned for 2021.

Photo: press materials

  1. Warten auf’n Bus TV series, directed by Dirk Kummer

It is about Ralle (Felix Kramer) and Hannes (Ronald Zehrfeld), both in their late forties and unemployed, killing their time at the terminus of an intercity bus route in a fictional location of Brandenburg and philosophizing about life in general and in particular. The series, filmed in the Berlin dialect, premiered on April 15, 2020, on ARD Mediathek and has been broadcast on RBB Fernsehen from April 22, 2020. The script was written by the author Oliver Bukowski and directed by Dirk Kummer. The series was produced by Senator Film Production.

Photo: IMDb press materials

  1. Sløborn TV series, directed by Christian Alvart and Adolfo Kolmerer

Sløborn is an 8-part series from ZDFneo in which a deadly virus hits a small community on the North Sea island of Sløborn. Distracted by personal problems, different people will soon face the decline of their previous lives.

The plot develops on Sløborn, where two bodies are found on a stranded boat. During the murder investigation, the police make the terrible discovery that a deadly virus, pigeon flu, has reached the island with the dead. It is already too late for the island’s residents as they are all more concerned with their problems than interpreting the signs of an approaching epidemic.

Sløborn had its television premiere with a broadcast of four episodes on ZDFneo on July 23, 2020. On the same day, the entire season was first published in the ZDFmediathek. The series was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24.

Photo: IMDb press materials

  1.  Undine, directed by Christian Petzold

Undine is a German-French feature film by Christian Petzold from 2020. The love drama with Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski in the leading roles is based on the Undine myth. Director Petzold, who also wrote the screenplay, moved the legend about the ominous water woman to contemporary Berlin. It is the first part of the planned film trilogy about figures of German romanticism.

The premiere took place on February 23, 2020, in the competition of the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where Paula Beer won the Silver Bear as Best Actress. The regular German theatrical release had to be postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was set for July 2, 2020.

Photo: IMDb press materials