A car driving along a dark road through the woods, headlights first, coming towards us. Cut. A group of young girls in the car, dressed up for a party, excited, taking pictures on their mobiles, morphing their faces with those of freakish medical specimens, all this to a score that swells and ebbs, changes between a compressed drone and a spacious haunting score, eventually revealing itself as the beat driven dj set drowning out all other noise at a drug-infused pool party somewhere in the forest. The mood is set for horror, and for sixteen-year old Tina this party does indeed feel much like a horror trip. She tries to lose herself in the music, but there are too many things that unsettle her. It’s when she gets home after this nocturnal excursion that she sees it for the first time, and from then on it will return relentlessly. What is it? Why is it there? And why does no one else see it? Her girl-friends are puzzled, her parents worry and send her to a psychiatrist. He seems rather useless, but gives her one useful piece of advice…
Der Nachtmahr is as unsettling for the viewer as the events are for its protagonist because we know as little as she does and just when we think we have understood what’s going on, the film takes another turn. Best to know as little as possible in advance except perhaps that this is a coming-of-age story with a difference. Disturbing and empowering.
Der Nachtmahr is the first film produced by OOO-Films founded by the film’s director AKIZ, who has been making films since the mid-1990s mostly under the name Achim Bornhak, while also working on sculptures and paintings. His credits as director include his graduation film, the short feature Der Marianengraben (1995), which was nominated for the student Oscar, the features School's Out (Die Nacht der Nächte, 1997) and the biopic Eight Miles High (Das Wilde Leben, 2007), the short Painting Reality (2010, as AKIZ), which was part of Banksy's anthology film The Antics Roadshow (2011). Since 2015 AKIZ has been working together with Philip Virus as part of the directing collective „Pentagon“. Der Nachtmahr is AKIZ’ first part of the Demonic Trilogy, which as part of a film cycle deals with the triptych Birth, Love and Death.
The film includes scenes of drug taking. In Germany it was released for ages 12 and above.
The film screened at the Glasgow Youth Festival in February this year.
Germany 2015, colour, DCP, 88 mins. German with English subtitles.
Director: AKIZ. With Carolyn Genzkow, Kim Gordon, Julika Jenkins, Arnd Klawitter, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht.Soundtrack by Boys Noize (also known as Alex Ridha), Oblast, Wild Style Lion with Kim Gordon.