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This Ain't California review

This quasi documentary from first-time writer/director Marten Persiel brings us the story of Denis ‘Panik’ Paracek (played in part by model Kai Hillebrand), a skateboarder-cum-agitator who was the figurehead of the early-’80s East German skating scene.

Though set in a divided country, it’s an effervescent period piece, edited with verve: Persiel combines recreations with archive footage, animation and home videos.

The big question is how much is fact and how much fabrication – Persiel’s film entertains, but the nagging sense that it’s mostly a ruse limits true engagement.

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