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This Ain't California


Action / Documentary / History / Sport

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
881.13 MB
German 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S ...
1.77 GB
German 5.1
25 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation4 / 10

Does not succeed in any department where it tries to

"This Ain't California" is a 100-minute documentary from 2012, so this one has its 5th anniversary this year. Do not be fooled by the English title as this one is a German production in the German language. Writer and director of this one we have here is Marten Persiel and it is also his only work as a filmmaker, at least by now. He received some awards attention for it, not just at the German Film Festival, but even in the United States. I personally do not really share the praise though. I believe it is a somewhat interesting reminiscence by the characters involved in here, but I feel as if that's it basically. It is about skateboarders from the GDR and how their approach to this activity was pretty much not really conform with the ideals and basic concepts of the GDR. On a weak note, I thought the people in here were almost all interchangeable really and honestly I think they were too full of themselves at times. One example would be when they talk about GDR citizens watching them and how they see their own unfulfilled desires in these skateboard activities. This is incredibly exaggerated and over the top and there are more moments like these to be honest. The attempts of the filmmaker and the people in it to add relevance to the project did not work out well at all and I had to cringe at times. Apart from that, the film still stays too irrelevant and too personal at times where I would say that this is only a good watch for relatives and friends of the people we see in here. I may be a bit biased as I have never been into skateboarding at all, but I think that these 100 minutes are nothing that will motivate you to buy a skateboard and also it will not really get you curious into life at the GDR if you haven't been curious before watching this one. And if you have, then I feel that it will teach you very little new, if anything at all. I give this one a thumbs-down and I think Persiel's lack of experience clearly shows in here. Then again, the subject as a whole may not have been a great choice to be honest. In any case I am not curious about his future works if there will be any at all that is. Watch something else instead.

Reviewed by CharlieGreenCG6 / 10

The first skating movie ever cared for...

Is it a documentary? Is it a feature? First time writer and director Marten Persiel tells us that it is actually both, more of a 'documentary tale' of sorts. This description of the German subtitled feature is quite fitting.

This Ain't California introduces us to a group of friends who are gathering for a funeral after-party, following the death of their once close friend 'Dennis 'Panik' Paracek. What follows is a reminiscence session of old memories and footage showing the rise of staking, hip-hop and break dancing all throughout the GDR controlled 1980's.

Split into several subheadings and with an additional back story, this ain't a normal documentary. It is an entirely fresh approach. Director Marten Persiel describes the films ethos was the keep away from the politics – especially the Berlin Wall. Instead the film fundamentally follows the subjective mind-set of a 17 year old of the era. This is reflected heavily, what with the shaky cam, youths doing a ton of impressive skateboarding tricks. All of that, but mixed with a mash of funky-techno music. Very unique in a sense, however it deeply echoes as just a blend of German sport advertisements merely with the brand logo missing. Sadly it is nothing more than that.

Filled with footage because it can, not because it should, Marten Persiel's first feature film still stands as an original take on a documentary and it is perhaps the first skating movie ever cared for.

Reviewed by l_rawjalaurence6 / 10

Great Story to Tell, But Rather a Letdown in Terms of Narrative

THIS AIN'T California tells a great story, of the growth and development of the nascent skateboarding culture in East Germany during the Eighties. Told through the biography of one of the leading protagonists in the movement, Dirk (aka Panik),this documentary tells of how a group of friends came together in a local housing estate, and developed their own approach to skateboarding - not necessarily in opposition to the West, but independently of it. Eventually the group came into contact with colleagues from West Germany, as well as other skateboarders from Europe and the United States; and they discovered that the community was far greater than they had anticipated. The group were not necessarily rebelling against communist rule; rather they were creating an alternative world in which personal fulfillment mattered more than collective good. This message is a powerful one; but devalued somewhat by the fact that much of the footage - which claims to be authentic from the Eighties - has been mocked up for the film. Moreover the narrative thrust becomes a little lost as the film unfolds; perhaps there ought to have been less slo-mo shots of the skateboarders in action and more emphasis on the multiple narrators - the group (now middle aged) looking back on their exploits.

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