Jürgen G.H. Hoppmann’s, AstroEuros, the first place feature film winner in this year’s Twin Rivers Media Festival is a curious story of intrigue, deception and symbolism in Europe today. At first the story is hard to follow, perhaps made difficult by the unheard of 41 co-writers that produced the screenplay for this film made over an eight-year period. One can only imagine the re-writes and plot re-directions that must have occurred over these years as the script evolved. Bad dubbing to English also does little to help the audience to follow the story line.
Feature films in small independent festivals usually share weaknesses inherent to filmmakers attempting to make their first longer drama. AstroEuros is no exception, having difficulties with script, editing and cinematography on occasion, but the end result, held together by the acting talents of Jürgen G.H. Hoppmann, Cara Fiedrich, Judith Seither, Klaus-Dieter Schramm, Klaus-Dieter Schramm, Martina Gerlach-Koygun, Michael Meier, Michael Seyfried, Peter Kruchten, Udo Moll, Werner Kos, Winfried S. Noé and some notable supporting roles, make AstroEuros a real independent charmer.
The story begins with Lilith, working in a new position at the ministry, going through deception and mysterious actions by her new bosses. Finding that her computer doesn’t work, she is given an old manual typewriter to complete her job of transforming old statements into updated Euro friendly documents. A flea market potter from former GDR tries to help her and explains, “Every symbol has its meaning and every symbol has power, even if you don’t believe it.” This seems to become the theme of the film as she goes through more deceptions, a visual arts group is introduced and does performance art about the 12 astrological signs.
At this point the film takes the audience on a symbolic journey through the constellations, with intrigue and satire on “old Europe.” The filmmakers wonder what would happened if Europe was ruled by people that believe in Astrology, Tarot Cards and other esoteric and mystical beliefs. The film finally finishes with a plot switch involving some motor scooter pizza delivery con games and a surprise ending. This is a film well worth seeing for audiences interested in viewing movies that embrace the best of the independent cinema spirit.