Sisters Maria and Anna live together. Maria is a most proficient executive secretary, encouraging Anna to finish her studies and start a career. Anna broods, threatens to quit university, ... See full summary »
Sisters Maria and Anna live together. Maria is a most proficient executive secretary, encouraging Anna to finish her studies and start a career. Anna broods, threatens to quit university, takes pills, and keeps a diary. When Maria's relationship with Maurice, the son of her boss, starts to lead to love, Anna takes a selfish and drastic step that plummets Maria into solitude. No longer able to connect with Maurice, Maria does establish a relationship with Miriam, a typist at her office who becomes a surrogate younger sister. But Maria is intrusive as well as helpful. Can this or any relationship work out for this talented woman whose past seems to choke her soul? Written by
German film of the seventies. More fun than... well actually, no fun at all.
A glib analysis would state that all the war babies and boomers came of age, and began to express their neuroses on film. People talk about "war guilt" - that was part of it, but also a phenomenal feeling of sadness and melancholy. It pervades this film; there's a feeling of the events taking place just after something appalling. The war and its aftermath are 'the two-hundred-pound gorilla in the corner': unmentioned, unpictured, and undeniable.
I suppose, in a way, this movie is a distant Teutonic cousin of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" - a simple domestic story of sisters going mad in their own ways. You could almost describe the scenario as 'banal', but it's delivered with such intensity and integrity that the results are genuinely tragic.
The acting is outrageously good. Unlike the Davis / Crawford epic, this one doesn't shy away from lesbian sexual energy between the two siblings, which adds another layer of creepiness.
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