When Germany’s Ken Dunken set out to make his directorial debut with Berlin Falling, he had no idea that his piece of fiction would turn into a reality just weeks before it hits the big screen at the Berlinale Film Festival. For audience members, the screening will invoke an emotion that Dunken never expected as they see the attack on Berlin’s Christmas Market unfold before their eyes.
The plot of Berlin Falling? A lone terrorist plans out a deadly attack in the German capital of Berlin. His weapon of choice is a highjacked car and his target is the city center as thousands gather in the Christmas Market.
“We were ahead of events. Sadly, events caught up with us”
That connection alone warrants a chilling reaction, but the eeriness of it all doesn’t stop there. When Dunken held the first screening of the movie for cast and crew, it was on the night of the December 19 attack, just blocks away from the tragedy.
“As we walked out of the theater, people told us, ‘There’s been a terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz,’ ” Dunken said in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter. “We couldn’t believe it. Then we took out our phones and thought, ‘Oh no.’ When we made the movie, we were ahead of events. Sadly, events caught up with us.”
With the premonitory plot of Berlin Falling, Dunken’s directorial debut is sure to receive more attention than he had originally hoped for. Will people come out purely for the eeriness of it all or because the film itself is a worthy piece of filmmaking?