© Senator/Central

Nichts als Gespenster (Nothing but Ghosts)
Germany 2006

Opening 29 Nov 2007

Directed by: Martin Gypkens
Writing credits: Martin Gypkens, Judith Hermann
Principal actors: August Diehl, Chiara Schoras, Fritzi Haberlandt, Janek Rieke, Stipe Erceg

An alternative title for this movie could have been Cigarette Smokers, because it seemed that each of the many characters was a chain smoker. There are five interwoven stories in the film, which is set in five different countries. The ambitious plot allows the cameramen to photograph some breathtaking scenery. Generally speaking, the scenery was more interesting than the characters. Martin Gypkens has taken on the challenge of fitting all the different stories together, but there is no common thread to pull them together.

Ellen and Felix (Maria Simon and August Diehl) are forty-a-day people who are driving through spectacular American scenery and finding, in between puffs, that they aren’t getting along very well. Christine (Brigitte Hobmeier) visits her friend Nora (Jessica Schwarz) in Jamaica and falls for a local boy who has a wife and a baby. Despite these inconvenient encumbrances and brushing aside the fact that this man hardly says more than two words to her, she tells him that they’ll continue their relationship when it’s holiday time again. Jonas (Wotan Wilke Mohring) and Irene (Ina Weise) visit a married couple in Iceland, where Jonas manages to catch the eye of his hostess instead of falling in love with Irene as she’d intended. Marion (Fritzi Haberlandt) visits her appalling parents on holiday in Venice and manages to leave them with her sanity still intact. And finally Cara (Karina Plachetka) falls in love with her fellow actor (Stipe Ercez) who falls in love with Cara’s best friend Ruth (Chiara Schoras). Ruth manages to smoke before, during and after her act of deceit.

The stories are cleverly overlapped but there is nothing – apart from tobacco – to link them together. (Jenny Mather)

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