80 minutes| Germany| 2009| Subtitled| Colour| Digibeta

The winner of this year’s prestigious Max Ophuls prize for ‘Best Documentary’, Jens Junker’s Alias provides a fascinating account of a man who grew up in apparently idyllic circumstances as part of a religious German family. Never really registering the fact that his appearance seems different to his brothers and sisters and unusual for a German, the man is in his twenties before he starts to question his origins. He has arguments with his father, who eventually reveals the supposed truth of his son’s real identity. The family emerges as a structure of hypocrisy, its members as silent guardians of secret knowledge. It is years later before the protagonist finds the courage to return to his childhood village, to speak with members of his family, and to subsequently travel to Lebanon, where he finally encounters a familiar-looking stranger.

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