Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Click here for a Sydney Film Festival sneak peek with Festival Director Nashen Moodley!x
review, Too Far Away, Too, Far, Away, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Yoran Leicher, Sobhi Awad, Anna König, Andreas Nickl, Anna Böttcher, Petra Nadolny, Tobias Schäfer, Julia Schmitt, Sarah Winkenstette, Drama, Family

ZU WEIT WEG

★★★

SCORING ALL SORTS OF GOALS

GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Joel Kalkopf
1st June 2021

The world of football is your community, sometimes more so than your actual community. It unites all corners of the globe, dissolves language barriers, and lights a path of hope for so many. Your football community are there for you win or lose, with a shoulder to cry on through victory or despair. But what happens when you leave that community you hold so dear? How can you redefine yourself when the foundations of your life are uplifted and you start to walk the path unknown?

This's what audiences will soon discover about Ben (Yoran Leicher) in Sarah Winkenstette's 'Too Far Away'. His family and friends are all forced to move because a nearby brown coal mine is threatening to swallow their homes. Ben is the star striker for his football team, and he's clearly surrounded himself with close friends and a life that suits him well. However, Ben's family have decided not to follow everyone else to the new town, and instead choose a different city in which to set up their new lives.

Now everything Ben could once rely on is shaken to the core. He's bullied at school, his family seem be settling in far better than he is, and worst of all in his eyes, he's no longer the star player for his new football team. Everything starts to change when Tariq (Sobhi Awad), a young Syrian refugee, is thrown into the deep end and along with Ben, and they both have to start navigating the ropes of growing up in a new environment.

'TOO FAR AWAY' TRAILER

On the surface, 'Too Far Away' is about two boys who start out as football competitors, but soon realise that they both stand a better chance of survival if that competition turns to friendship. When Ben first meets Tariq, there is hope and relief he might finally have a friend to lean on once more. However, the green guernsey on Tariq's back soon seeps into a jealously that overpowers Ben, and the threat of being alone is drowning him once more.

Alas, it would be unfair to pigeonhole this film due to this surface level basis. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable and awkward at times how Winkenstette often compares Ben and Tariq's plight. One is a refugee from a war-torn country who's lost his family, and the other has moved towns and now sits on the bench for his football team. But that's just it - this comparison works so well because Winkenstette positions it all through their eyes, not an adult's. It's a substantial shift that opens up conversations and intrigue for a younger audience that perhaps a more mature approach could not.

The footballing aspect in 'Too Far Away' is pushed aside with relative ease, and from fairly early on considering it's in all the marketing material. But this really isn't a problem at all, and if anything aids in the comparisons of Ben and Tariq by making it all a lot less awkward. Had Winkenstette focussed solely on the football, or brought this story in from an older set of eyes, then it would just be too difficult for the target audience to empathise and question exactly what Tariq is struggling through. His refugee status is a serious global issue, and I admire what Winkenstette is trying to do by moulding this around a family film.

These are really valuable lessons, made all the more watchable with a big heart and very likeable characters.

These are really valuable lessons, made all the more watchable with a big heart and very likeable characters. Ben could so easily be unsympathetic when comparing his problems with Tariq, but we feel for him, and Leicher does a really wonderful job of not overacting his plight. Likewise, Ben's family are all extremely supportive and they get a chance to shine, particularly in one scene when Tariq is invited for dinner and they make Syrian food. The kids at Ben's new school are almost embarrassingly childish in their mean-spirited ways, but even they get a chance to showcase their good intentions in the school project Ben gets assigned in class.

By Winkenstette trying to juggle a feel-good sports genre film, an insight into a refugees experiences, and Ben's personal story, 'Too Far Away' can feel a little unfocused at times. All the elements work fairly well individually, but as a whole, it lacks the fluidity to really make it score. There are very obvious beats to the story, which can be forgivable in a family film, but that still shouldn't be a given. The lack of cohesion can make this film feel a little long and laborious at times, so a younger audience may lack the patience to maintain care, but there should be enough here to hold interest in the friendly 90 minute runtime.

'Too Far Away' is a warm and sentimental film that really surprised me. I expected an underdog sports family drama, and instead I found myself watching a film about a blossoming friendship against the odds, filled with adventure, heart and smiles. Made for a younger audience but certainly able to be appreciated by all, this likeable film brings a lot more to the table than first appears.

FAST FACTS
AKA: Too Far Away
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 29m
CAST: Yoran Leicher
Sobhi Awad
Anna König
Andreas Nickl
Anna Böttcher
Petra Nadolny
Tobias Schäfer
Julia Schmitt
DIRECTOR: Sarah Winkenstette
WRITER: Susanne Finken
PRODUCERS: Jonas Weydemann
Yvonne Wellie
Milena Klemke
Jakob D. Weydemann
SCORE: Leonard Petersen
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more German Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Buckley's Chance - Take a chance on this Aussie fish-out-of-water story
TRENDINGWIN BUCKLEY'S CHANCETake a chance on this Aussie fish-out-of-water story
Cranston Academy: Monster Zone - A fun-filled animated adventure for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN CRANSTON ACADEMY: MONSTER ZONEA fun-filled animated adventure for the whole family
From the Vine - Finding your roots in your family
TRENDINGWIN FROM THE VINEFinding your roots in your family
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Luca - Pixar's gorgeous ode to the art of acceptance
TRENDINGLUCAPixar's gorgeous ode to the art of acceptance
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Perfect Secret - Seven friends with alcohol and secrets - let the games begin!
TRENDINGTHE PERFECT SECRETSeven friends with alcohol and secrets - let the games begin!
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
A Call to Spy - The unknown stories of real-life heroes
TRENDINGA CALL TO SPYThe unknown stories of real-life heroes
The Emperor's New Groove - Getting in the Groove for the past 20 years
TRENDINGTHE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVEGetting in the Groove for the past 20 years
The Trouble with Being Born - Controversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
TRENDINGTHE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORNControversial, unsettling and intelligent science-fiction
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!