By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 25, 2011 at 12:43PM
A German film I initially profiled back in September 2010, when it was selected for Fantastic Fest 2010. It's since screened at a number of film festivals across the globe, and, as I learned over the weekend, officially opened in theaters in Germany on September 22nd, just last week Thursday, although I was under the impression that it had already played there.
Titled Transfer, German filmmaker Damir Lukacevic is its director. The film now has an official poster, which you'll find below, new still images, and an interesting fact about its casting worth sharing.
First, here's the breakdown:
At the Menzana facility, customers with the financial means to do so can sidestep the constraints of this mortal coil by having their consciousness and memories implanted into the minds of young, healthy bodies, primarily those of immigrant Africans and other third world residents who agree to participate in the procedure for the money their families will receive. The film opens with a consultation session for potential clients Herman and Anna (Hans Michael Rehberg and Ingrid Andree), a wealthy German couple entering their twilight years. While both have ethical concerns about the procedure, Herman is deeply worried by his wife’s failing health and both fear the day that death will separate them. Their initial hesitation to the transfer procedure gives way after Anna learns that she has but months to live. She and Herman soon return to Menzana and commit to purchasing the bodies of Apolain and Sarah (B.J. Britt and Regine Nehy), two refugees from Africa who have been specially selected for their compatibility with the body and brain chemistry of the aging couple. Under the conditions of the transfer, Herman and Anna have use of their new bodies for 20 hours a day. When they sleep, their hosts Apolain and Sarah return to consciousness and are able to use their own bodies for a period of four hours.
As I said in my initial post last year, the ideas here simultaneously intrigue, as well as concern me, having not seen the film!
On one hand, it may provide for an intriguing opportunity to explore race, privilege, class, identity, ethics, the nature of being/consciousness and more, on film, and maybe in ways that we haven't quite seen before; on the other, it could be nothing more than an exploitative (even though well-intended) piece of trash fiction... an experiment gone completely wrong.
But, again, I haven't seen it, so I have no idea on what side of the fence it stands. I'm, at the very least, curious to see it for myself.
The film now has an official poster, which you'll find below, as well as a new still image.
Also, interesting bit regarding its casting... I learned over the weekend that its 2 black leads are American actors! Their faces weren't familiar to me from the stills and the trailer, but I only realized this because I looked at the IMDB pages (why I didn't do it before, I don't know).
B.J. Britt and Regine Nehy are their names.
B.J.'s resume includes roles on Lincoln Heights, Everybody Hates Chris, and One Tree Hill; Regine's resume includes roles also in Lincoln Heights, Lakeview Terrace (the Kerry Washington, Samuel L Jackson film produced by Will Smith), Death At A Funeral (Chris Rock's American remake)
Rest assured, we'll be getting in touch with them to find out more about this film, how they got involved, and more.
If we have any readers in Germany, and you've seen the film, now that it's opened theatrically in that country, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the film; or if anyone has any further info, feel free to drop me an email.
I've reached out to the production and distribution companies for news on future screenings, and international distribution. Once I get a response, I'll share here.
Here's the poster (trailer underneath):
Here's the trailer again: