Distant Lights | Chicago Reader

Distant Lights

Set in two towns flanking the Polish-German border—Slubice and Frankfurt-on-the-Oder—this drama by Hans-Christian Schmid comprises a series of stories, some loosely connected, that take place over a period of 48 hours. Some of the characters are barely eking out a living or poised to flee their present circumstances; others are getting by, but at the cost of making morally reprehensible choices. Schmid does a fine job juggling his various narratives, the most poignant of which involves a young Polish couple with a newborn child trying to illegally cross the river into Germany. The portrayal of Slubice, with its underworld of hustlers preying on those who seek a better life, is nightmarish. In German, Polish, and Russian with subtitles. 104 min.

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