© Alamode Film/Filmagentinnen

Dora oder die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern
Switzerland/Germany 2015

Opening 21 May 2015

Directed by: Stina Werenfels
Writing credits: Lukas Bärfuss, Boris Treyer, Stina Werenfels
Principal actors: Victoria Schulz, Jenny Schily, Lars Eidinger, Urs Jucker

Dora is a charming young woman, albeit mentally disabled. She lives in a lovely house with her caring parents who organize a party for her eighteenth birthday. All is well until her mother Kristin decides to stop filling her up with the pharmaceuticals, which so far have restrained her natural urges. Now, free from drugs, Dora lets it all hang out in a sexual way. She follows Peter into the men’s toilet to his surprise and also delight, where they have a go at it. Dora makes herself available at all times and Peter, ignoring any sense of responsibility for an obviously irresponsible girl, plays along. Soon Dora is pregnant – a condition that mom Kirstin herself has been striving for without results. The film develops in a humorous fashion until all participants benefit from the experience.

Director Stina Warenfels was inspired by the original play by Lukas Bärfuss which premiered 2003 in Basel and has since played in the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. The title translates to “The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents.” Or, in other words: who is really crazy here? The opening shots of the birthday party are enticing (camera: Lukas Strebel) in that they jump from a red dress, to boots, an eyebrow, someone’s neck, a balloon, feet, ice cream, toes, an eye, the top of a baby’s head, etc., and we wonder what will come next. The message of the film (which showed at the 2015 Berlinale) is that the handicapped are also human beings. It also touches on the responsibilities towards an unborn child. All of the actors are excellent, especially Victoria Schulz as Dora, who was “discovered” during a street casting in 2011. Ninety minutes are exactly the right length to tell the whole story. (Becky Tan)

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