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Erik is happy with his life. Away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, he rides his motorbike between idyllic fields, speeding towards dinner with his girlfriend and her daughter. In an atmosphere of friendly chaffing, you really feel his sense of being happy with his life and his wish to make his home there. In order to achieve this, Erik tries to win over his girlfriend Julia’s sceptical father. This carefree life is brought to an end with the sudden appearance of a strange man, Henry, who argues grimly that Erik is in big danger and who is very ironic about Erik’s petite bourgeois aspirations for happiness. Henry follows Erik wherever he goes, seems unreal, like an apparition, and makes Erik doubt whether he’s in his right mind. The situation is made even worse by the appearance of a dark gang, whose leader hints at unresolved issues from the past and offers his help with an act of revenge. When the shadows of the past threaten Julia and her family, Erik is forced to make his move. To shed some light on the confusing situation, he places himself in the hands of a spiritual healer, but a question arises as to who is really good and who is bad in this story. Is Henry actually a part of Erik, and what is his role in curbing or goading Erik’s duplicity?

"Stereo" is a mystical gangster-thriller, and the makers of this film really celebrate the genre. The three parts of the film are in deep contrast with each other and the light and colours shift with the story, from brightness to garishness. The lead actors, Jürgen Vogel and Moritz Bleibtreu, have ruled German cinema for the past decade or so and they are very familiar to visitors to PÖFF. In this film, they appear as co-stars for the first time and they are really equal partners here, visibly enjoying playing off each other.

Germany 2014