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Film still 'And Tomorrow the Entire World' depicting young people smiling at a demonstration
Image: Alamode Film/dpa/picture alliance

Antifa drama is Germany's pick for the Oscars

October 29, 2020

Julia von Heinz's political drama was selected to represent Germany in the best international feature film category for the 2021 Oscars.


And Tomorrow the Entire World, a political drama directed by Julia Heinz, tells the story of a young girl who gets involved with antifa activists to oppose the uprising neo-Nazi movement.

The film was revealed on Wednesday as Germany's pick for the best international feature film category at the 2021 Academy Awards next April. The selection was announced by German Films, an organization that represents the country's film industry abroad. 

"At a time when democracy is coming under increasing pressure, Julia von Heinz poses the question of whether, and if so when, violence is justified or even necessary," said the jury spokesperson, Marie Noëlle Sehr, in a statement.

"And Tomorrow the Entire World confronts its audience with conflicts and decision-making processes that none of us can escape. A very personal film with great emotional impact," Sehr added.

The film was chosen by a jury of representatives from eight different film associations and institutions in Germany.

And Tomorrow the Entire World celebrated its international premiere this year in the competition of 77th Venice International Film Festival, where lead actress Mala Emde won the Bisato d'Oro Award for best actress. In addition, the film received the Silver Hugo: best ensemble performance at the Chicago International Film Festival.

A diverse selection

Nine other films covering a wide range of topics vied to represent Germany in the prestigious Hollywood award ceremony, including two literary adaptations.

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Burhan Qurbani, adapted from Alfred Döblin's classic book from 1929, tells the story of a man struggling to make an honest living after serving jail time. In this modern version, a West African refugee plays the protagonist, giving the story a modern twist. The film won the 2020 German Film Award for best film. 

A second literary adaptation, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by author Judith Kerr, was submitted for consideration. The film's director, Caroline Link, is already an Oscar award-winner — her 2003 film Nowhere in Africa won best foreign language film. 

Two characters from 'Berlin Alexanderplatz' face one another wearing clown masks on their heads
'Berlin Alexanderplatz' sets Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel in the present day, featuring a protagonist who is a refugeeImage: picture-alliance/dpa/Entertainment One

Other films vying to represent Germany at the Academy Awards included Philipp Stölzl's colorful rendition of the popular musical, I've Never been to New York, and the animated kid's film on the fall of the Berlin Wall, Fritzi: A Revolutionary Tale by Ralf Kukula and Matthias Bruhn. 

Alongside And Tomorrow the Entire World, another political drama was among the submissions: A Wet Dog by Damir Lukacevic tells the tale of a student who conceals his Jewish origins in order to join a Muslim gang.

A woman, her husband and their young daughter ride in a carriage at the foot of mountains
'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' was one of the film's submitted to be Germany's 2021 Oscar pick.Image: Sommerhaus/Warner Bros.

Another candidate was director Christian Petzold's romantic thriller, Undine, which like many of the other Oscar-hopefuls from Germany, premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival. The film's lead protagonist, Paula Beer, won the festival's Silver Bear award for best actress. 


A woman holds the head of the man in front of her in a swimming pool
Paula Beer in the romantic thriller 'Undine' Image: Christian Schulz/Schramm Film

An Oscar nomination in February

Which five international films from around the world will enter the final race for the Oscar for best International film will be decided on February 5, 2021 in Hollywood.  

Last year, the German film System Crasherby director Nora Fingscheidt, which tells the story of a difficult child looking for love , was nominated as the German Oscar candidate. It however didn't make it into the final round. 

The Oscar ceremony itself will take place on April 25.

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