©Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Walker Worm Film, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

Sommerhäuser (The Garden)
Germany 2017

Opening 26 Oct 2017

Directed by: Sonja Maria Kröner
Writing credits: Sonja Maria Kröner
Principal actors: Laura Tonke, Mavie Hörbiger, Thomas Loibl, Ursula Werner, Inge Maux

This chamber drama takes place during a sweltering hot July in 1976 in Bavaria, on the garden plot of a recently deceased family matriarch. Her family - three generations – has come to summer here like every year, each party occupying one of the 'low tech' wooden summer-cabins. (No TV, smartphones or video). It may be the last summer they spend here if they don't come to an agreement over Sophie's will. Tensions - harbored for years – surface under these circumstances, often resulting in acerbic and quite funny exchanges. A crime committed in the neighborhood, the perpetrator still on the loose, lends a constant and parallel 'undercurrent' of anxiety to the story. Unfazed by the adult's problems and concerns the children freely roam the property and neighborhood, the crime merely deliciously disquieting.

Sonja Maria Kröner won "Best Director" at the 2017 Munich Film Fest for this, her first feature film. It shows her to be a keen observer and an interesting storyteller. With the support of a great cast (casting Ulrike Müller), she created a realistic portrait of a family in (West-) Germany in the 1970's and tells a story, refreshingly, without tediously spelling everything out. (Carola A)

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