Un été à Berlin

18651757Sommer von Balkon

Andreas Dresen :: Germany :: 2005 :: 1h45

Two women, Katrin and Nike, live in the same building. Katrin on the ground floor with her young son, and Nike all the way up with a flowered balcony. It is on the balcony that the women eat and drink together and wonder about the love in their lives. It may be summer on the balcony, but their hearts are far from being content, and, they wonder, maybe they will never be.

The relationship between the women, as neighbours, friends and rivals is well worked out. But watching them, in all their normality, is a tedious affair. Katrin is still too broken by the break-up of her marriage to be able to really set her sights on someone else, or really get her life in order – the depressingly bureaucratic society around her does not fare her currently unstable situation well. Her son, equally frustrated in the beginnings of love, is little consolation, leading her to the bottle.

The somewhat trashy Nike is so desperate to love that she works her way into more lonely spheres instead of constructing a real future. Through her work -she admirably takes care of senior citizens- she is reminded of the importance of love through the stories told, but can not seem to grasp them in her own life.

So there they are, in their run-down building in a run-down city. The German capital is portrayed as an ugly, impoverished desolate place which is best avoided, with a people-as-means culture to top it off. If you want to learn a little about the German psyche, then you are bound to find some hail in this picture. But then you could also consider looking elsewhere, this is not a joyous or uplifting tale. The humour is as sparse as the beauty – the amateuristic photography does not help either, but you could argue that it helps the image of realism. But personally, I’d recommend to see what else is playing …

http://www.sommervormbalkon.de (in German)

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