"Gold": a film recommendation

News Arnulf Hinkel, financial journalist – 02.10.2018

For more than 6,000 years, people have known and used gold in multiple ways – not merely as a means of payment or investment. The precious metal has influenced numerous highly developed cultures and it has been an integral part of our everyday life. To recognise gold’s broader influence on society, we publish articles focusing on its cultural aspects from time to time. 

In the summer of 1898, at the height of the Klondike gold rush, a small group of German emigrants set out on a journey spanning 1,500 km through northern British Columbia. The call of gold had been heard in Bremen, where the poorest of the poor decided to follow it.

Hostile nature: a journey into the heart of darkness – and into the realm of temptation

Alongside outstanding actors such as Nina Hoss, Lars Rudolph and Uwe Bohm, the Canadian landscape plays a leading role in "Gold", appearing infinite, unfathomable and fascinating to both protagonists as well as movie goes. As the film continues, however, the raw nature seems to turn increasingly uncanny and dangerous. The fact that the group’s guide by no means possesses the expertise he had pretended to have makes things even worse – and soon, the first lives are lost. As nature presents itself in all its ruthlessness, the initially optimistic gold hunters realise that theirs is a journey with no return.

Competing for the Golden Bear

As proven by his documentary "Aus der Ferne", which was shown at the Berlinale 2006, as well as by his Berlin-set urban jungle drama "Im Schatten", director Tomas Arslan has expertise in staging nature and urban landscapes in an impressive and fearsome way. "Gold" was competing to win the Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlinale, but left the festival empty-handed. The main point of criticism by journalists and viewers alike was that the film was too long. Arslan took this to heart, releasing a revised cinema version that had been cut by 13 minutes. However, the movie has lost nothing of its visual and narrative impact. "Gold" sheds its very own light on the American gold rush and adds a new dimension to the neo-western genre.

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