This film gets a lot of exposure at Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals.
Yet, its lesbian theme is underlying and understated (by the standards
of these festival films anyway). Its "anywhere in eastern Germany"
setting is also subtle, and maybe not even an issue to those not
familiar with Germany.
The film is actually similar to another lesbian themed, but in that
case set "anywhere in western Germany" and the "foreigner" is Iranian
and not Polish: "Fremde Haut" (or "Taking off the Veil") both having
been shown here in Brazil in these last two months. Both pictures are
German "indies", with German women, both stereotypically Aryan blonds
not previously drawn to lesbian relations, but having suffered at the
hands of macho German males. Both are lower middle class working German
women, and they both fall for mysterious foreign women with immigration
problems and bigger criminal accusations or issues.
In this film's case, the working class Aryan female falls for a Polish
illegal immigrant, under very unusual circumstances. They both live in
prefabricated, popular apartments in the outskirts of a city (which in
time reveals itself as Leipzig or perhaps deep East Berlin). They lead
everyday life with some humor and resignation.
But their quiet lives spin out of control when the German woman hides
her mysteriously fascinating Polish neighbor Jola - who is in fear of
being arrested and deported, believing to have accidentally killed her
boss, the local bar owner, also one of the neighborhood's best known
When the German Dora finds out that the accusations against Jola have
been lifted, she lies about the status of the police investigation in
order to keep her Polish neighbor for herself.
From there, the movie begins in earnest. In such a tight knit
community, it is difficult to keep any detail of one's life from
others, so life becomes complicated and somewhat exciting in this
usually drab suburb.
It's a very worthwhile film. But it's not so much gay themed as may be
advertised, as it is a film about loneliness, captivity, and life in
the dull artificial satellite neighborhoods left behind by Soviet style
planning. Very recommendable!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?