Movie Details

Violence and ambition at once strengthen and test one man's loyalties in this drama from German filmmaker Christian Petzold. Johannes (Jacob Matschenz) is an physician's assistant who's an intern at a hospital in the small German community of Dreileben; Johannes is capable but not especially interested in his work, and owes his position to the fact his mother is friendly with Dr. Dreier (Rainer Bock), a high ranking member of the hospital staff, as well as his relationship with Dreier's daughter Sarah (Vijessna Ferkic). One weekend, Johannes happens upon a biker gathering and meets Ana (Luna Zimic Mijovic), a Bosnian immigrant who is the girlfriend of the club's leader. Johannes comes to Ana's defense when her boyfriend beings slapping her around, and before long he and Ana become romantically involved. However, while Ana is deeply invested in Johannes emotionally, he is more interested in relocating to the United States than maintaining a long term commitment with either Ana or Sarah. Meanwhile, a criminal with a violent past has escaped from the hospital and is on the run, adding a subtle tension to Johannes's dilemma. Dreileben: Etwas Besseres Als Den Tod (aka Dreileben: Beats Being Dead) is part of a trilogy of films from three contemporary German filmmakers set in the fictional city of Dreileben, all of which feature several common characters; the films received their North American debut at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi