The year is 1956. In East Germany, people live secluded from the outside world behind the Iron Curtain, but the winds of change are already blowing across Europe. When an insurgency in Hungary is quashed, a high school class in the city of Stalinstadt decide to hold a minute's silence in solidarity with those who fell. But when the school management finds out about the pupils' insubordination, it has serious consequences. The GDR does not tolerate dissidence, and suddenly the young idealists are caught in a tight spot - should they single out a scapegoat, who can face the music, or should they stick together and risk collective punishment? The director Lars Kraume has previously dealt with Germany's inflamed past in 'The People vs Fritz Bauer' about the trial of Adolf Eichmann. In his latest, nail-biting drama inspired by real events, he opens up an East German Pandora's box.
Styx is the river in Greek mythology which flows between Earth and the underworld, and in a sense this is what the doctor Rike crosses when she sets sail across the Pacific, alone in her 20-foot sailboat. She is prepared for everything, including the tropical storm she sails into and which tests the quality of the boat's build - but she is not prepared for what happens next. In the silence after the storm, Rike wakes up next to a fishing boat filled with hundreds of desperate refugees. And at once she is hit by a reality far from her own privileged life. Faced with an impossible situation, 'Styx' becomes both highly concrete and a parable of the West's ambivalence towards the refugee crisis. The result is a film you take home with you, and to top it all, it is nail-bitingly exciting and impressively filmed on location at sea.
German Day is presented in collaboration with German Films, Goethe Institut Dänemark and The German Embassy.