German studies program hosts film night

Based on the book by Sofie Cramer, “SMS für Dich” stars and was directed by Karoline Herfuth. The film follows Clara Sommerfeld as she mourns her late fiancé and searches for new ways to connect with him. (Photo from IMDb)

Members of the German Studies program gathered at the Taper Hall of Humanities Language Lab on Monday for the German Film Series’ showing of “SMS für Dich,” a romantic comedy directed by actress Karoline Herfurth.  

This event is one of many organized by the German Studies program, which seeks to introduce students to the art and work of individuals from German-speaking countries.  

Based on the novel by Sofie Cramer, “SMS für Dich” tells the tale of Clara Sommerfeld (Herfurth), a children’s author who has spent the last two years mourning her late fiancé. Since the car crash that took her husband’s life, Clara has been unable to write a manuscript that portrays a joyful and carefree protagonist, and she begins to fear that she will not be able to produce quality material until she recovers from her loss.  

Seeking a change of scene, Clara visits her friend in Berlin and unpacks her fiancé’s belongings. She discovers his cell phone, and begins to send texts to his number as an attempt to move on from his death. Little does she know that the number has been recycled and placed in the hands of a sports journalist, who is desperate to discover the source of the mystery messages.

“SMS für Dich” is just one of the movies showcased through the German Film Series, which serves to bring German culture to USC students in a way that is both entertaining and relevant.  

Ryan Myers, a freshman majoring in theatre, said the event intends to teach viewers about German media, culture and experiences.

“It is important that we embrace German culture because it can teach us more about our own,” Myers said.

This event created a comfortable atmosphere for students in introductory German classes and exposed listeners to colloquialisms such as “Die Liebe kennt kein Jein” or “Love knows no ‘maybe’” by bringing together the words for “yes” and “no” in the indistinct, indecisive “Jein.”  

Radhika Ananth, a freshman majoring in health promotion and disease prevention, said that the movie was “an incredible way for the German community to come together” in a casual setting.  

Movies in the German Film Series are played with English subtitles and are available to students in the German program as well as students who want to widen their horizons with film.

“This one was lighter [than previous pieces shown in the series],” said Eve Lee, an assistant professor of German, who helped coordinate the event. Prior films have featured a historical theme, so “SMS für Dich” gives the German Film Series lineup a jovial, humorous tone, Lee said.  

The next film in the series, “In the Fade,” will be shown in the Taper Hall Language Lab at 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 and is open to all students.