Back to All Events

Psychotronic Film Society presents "In the White City" (Switzerland, 1983)

  • The Sentient Bean 13 East Park Avenue Savannah, GA, 31401 United States (map)

Showtime is 8 p.m., with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the show. Tickets: $8.

On March 21, the Psychotronic Film Society’s long-running weekly series of acclaimed and/or underappreciated world cinema continues in the intimate, screening room-style environment of The Sentient Bean on the southern end of Forsyth Park. That night, they’ll show Swiss director Alain Tanner’s highly touted 1983 drama “In the White City,” starring the internationally acclaimed leading man and character actor Bruno Ganz (whom many U.S. viewers know for his searing portrayal of Adolph Hitler in the 2004 WWII drama “Downfall.”

Not familiar with “Downfall?” Sure you are.

That’s the film that has repeatedly served as the basis for innumerable unauthorized video clip memes circulated on the internet, in which Ganz’s German language Hitler-in-a-bunker meltdown has been cleverly given new, incorrect English subtitles. So it appears that the Fuhrer is railing, um, furiously, against everything from lackluster Bob Dylan concert setlists to Sean Spicer’s morally bankrupt presidential press conferences to the quality of Starbucks coffee.

Yet there’s so much more to Ganz than those admittedly humorous mashups would suggest. A favorite of German arthouse director Wim Wenders, who cast the Swiss-born actor in three of Wenders’ best films (including “The American Friend” and “Wings of Desire”), a wide dramatic range and the ability to subtly convey great depth of emotion and contemplation are Ganz’s calling cards.

“In the White City” is a rumination on loneliness and self-discovery that finds him portraying a sailor who tires of his grueling job and jumps ship in the “white city” of Lisbon, Portugal. There he moves into a small hotel, keeps to himself and eventually begins an affair with a strong-willed female bartender.

The film won Best French Language Film at France’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, and was also nominated for the prestigious Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Fest. Currently, Ganz holds the “Iffland-Ring,” an award given to the “most significant and most worthy actor of the German-speaking theatre.” The PFS will screen this most impressive film in its original spoken French, with English subtitles, the night before Ganz’s 77th birthday.