Opening 27 Sep 2018
Janne (Aenna Schwarz) has a new job, working for Robert (Tilo Nest). Robert introduces her to his brother-in-law, Martin, (Hans Löw), who is also a new company employee. This introduction evolves into a one-night stand where Martin forces himself on Janne, (yes, call it a 90-second rape), which Janne accepts silently, not wanting to be seen as a victim or to create a problem if there isn’t one. As she says, “Everything is fine.” (Alles ist Gut). She tells no one, not even her long-time boyfriend Piet (Anreas Döhler), but Martin, realizing his misdeed and the results (pregnancy), apologizes, wants to talk, and says, “Is there anything I can do?” She has an abortion, but the doctor refuses to let her leave the clinic unaccompanied, so she calls Piet.
Here we have a simple, 93-minute story with random activities: eating, renovating, cleaning house, talking with mother, sauna, shopping, driving, bowling, etc., all filmed in the same close-ups. It’s frustrating to watch Janne be the “nice” person, as she accepts life and fate as if all were well. It’s rare to sit through a film where the action is so low-key, that we begin to grate our teeth because nothing happens. After 60 minutes I was hoping that Janne would do something drastic to relieve the stress of being “nice.” My favorite scene was two minutes in the kitchen with the camera focused on a picture of a snowman, a picture which seemed familiar. Maybe “nothing” led me to notice “something” even if it was this picture in the background. Naturally, this film could lead to long discussions in feminist groups about how women are treated, how they should react, what is expected. Or groups of psychologists could discuss personal limits and how individuals set up borderlines before finally admitting that there is a problem. How much is suppression and how much free decision-making? Another film, Dogman, opening three weeks later, runs along almost identical lines, except that the person is male and there is extreme violence. Director Eva Trobisch studied cinema and television in Munich where she won prizes for her short films. She studied scriptwriting in New York, and worked on a master’s degree in scriptwriting in London, which was then the basis for this, her first, full-length feature film. (Becky Tan)