seen at the Int. Filmfestival MAnnheim-Heidlberg; considered good
Compared with "Mapmaker" this movie points in the same direction yet form and importance of political conflict are different. Indeed, radical politics of nationalism/imperialism influences one man's life and behaviour, yet political socialization is placed in the background. Jakob, a lonesome and hostile Indonesian War veteran, quarrels with his neibourghs about their cat and about his share of the garden. Which is separated from kindergarten vis-a-vis by a massive fence with barb-wire. Directress Jansen attaches her the young refugee from the Sudan, Majok. She is his companion in misfortune. She's roamer, driven away. Like the cat, that comes round just before him at Jakob's, it is for Majok; the old guy chases him away. Little by little, he who has alienated from the people in his home country makes friends with the one alien to the people. Economical of expression, yet strong in presence, that's how the amateur actors model the departure away from isolation, the outset for a new understanding of each other. Jansen accompanies her actors with almost documentary patience and distance. When Jakob defiantly says in the end that the past was crap, then this contains a soft pleading, to do better in the present what could not be done better in the past. "Tussenland" was awarded by the oecumenical jury.
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