The HSBC German Film Festival arrives next month with a program packed full of powerhouse flicks. Screening at Palace Cinemas across Australia from May 7 to June 5, the line-up features everything from riveting dramas and heartbreaking romances to historical biopics and comedies. It promises to be an enriching, emotionally affecting and entertaining movie-going experience exploring German language, culture and history.

We’ve selected five you won’t want to miss.

From Hilde, With Love

This remarkable true story follows Hilde Coppi (played by Liv Lisa Fries), a young German woman drawn into the anti-Nazi resistance during World War II. Set in 1942 Berlin, the film portrays a heavily pregnant Hilde detained by the Gestapo accused of collaborating with her husband, Hans Coppi, against the Nazis. Forced to give birth in prison, Hilde reminisces about her involvement with Hans and the life-changing summer they fell in love. Anchored by an incredible lead performance, it’s a moving look at a dark chapter of history. This is the festival’s opening film and the screening will be attended by director Andreas Dresden, who will also be conducting a series of Q&As.

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Foreign Language

This tender coming-of-age story explores the complicated, cross-cultural relationship between two teenage girls: one French, one German. The film follows Fanny (Lilith Grasmug), a shy and hesitant girl from Strasbourg in France who heads to the German city of Leipzig as part of a foreign exchange program. Fanny soon becomes enthralled by her host, the larger-than-life Lena (Josefa Heinsius, in her film debut), and the two girls form a deep bond. Starring Nina Hoss and critically acclaimed at Berlinale, this moving film is equal parts beautiful and bittersweet.

One for the Road

Authentic and emotional, this tragi-comedy set in contemporary Berlin follows a young man forced to confront his drinking problem. Starring Frederick Lau in a brilliant central performance, the film follows Mark, a construction manager who appears to be balancing his job with wild nights out in Berlin. Mark’s work hard, play hard lifestyle is upended when he’s caught drink-driving and has his licence revoked until he completes a mental and physical examination. While Mark swears off drinking until he gets his licence back, temptations lurk everywhere – especially when he meets “partner in crime” Helena (Nora Tschirner) during his examination.

Fitzcarraldo

Screening as part of the Werner Herzog retrospective, this 1982 epic-adventure drama stars Klaus Kinski as an Irishman determined to become a rubber baron in early 20th-century Peru. The film focuses on opera-obsessed Brian Fitzgerald, known locally as Fitzcarraldo, who lives in a small Peruvian city and wants to open his own local opera house. To finance his elaborate plan, Fitzcarraldo realises he needs to make a killing in the rubber business. Hellbent on reaching a rich source of rubber trees in the jungle, he hatches a bizarre plot to drag a steamboat over a mountain. The film’s wild synopsis matches the legendary behind-the-scenes story; Herzog battled an eccentric star and mutinous crew while filming in the unforgiving jungle.

Toni Erdmann

A highlight from the festival’s 70-year retrospective of German films, this 2016 dramedy stars recent Oscar-nominee Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall) as workaholic businesswoman Ines. When Ines’s practical joker father, Winifried (Peter Simonischek), unexpectedly visits, she makes it clear she has little time to spend with him because of her work demands. Wanting to reconnect with her, Winifried creates an outrageous alter ego and begins posing as her CEO’s life coach. A hilarious yet tender character study, this off-beat, brilliant film was met with rave reviews upon its original release.

Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Palace Cinemas. The HSBC German Film Festival is running in Adelaide, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from May to June; dates vary between cities. Find the full line-up and book your tickets.