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The Forest for the Trees (2003)
"Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen" (original title)

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As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.



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Title: The Forest for the Trees (2003)

The Forest for the Trees (2003) on IMDb 7.3/10

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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Pröschle
Daniela Holtz ...
Tina Schaffner
Jan Neumann ...
Thorsten Rehm
Ilona Schulz ...
Frau Sussmann (as Ilona Christina Schulz)
Heinz Röser-Dümmig ...
Lutger Reinhardt
Martina Eckrich ...
Renate Pföhler
Nina Fiedler ...
Hans-Rüdiger Kucich ...
Gerd Postweiler
Ruth Köppler ...
Elvira Fischer-Walter
Achim Enchelmaier ...
Monika Hirschle ...
Melanies Mutter
Volker Jeck ...
Melanies Vater
Hans-Peter Gastiger ...
Andreas Bornhardt ...
Garden Center Worker


As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

teacher | school | rumor | dining | single | See All (42) »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 January 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Forest for the Trees  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The school scenes were shot at the school where the director's mother was teaching. Both of her parents are teachers. See more »


References Sex and the City (1998) See more »


He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot
Performed by Grandaddy
Courtesy of V2
Written by Jason Lytle
Published by BMG Songs, Inc. o/b/o Genghis Music, Deadlineless & Jason Lytle
See more »

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User Reviews

A story without middle part
10 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although this is a very unique movie, the big main lines can be compared to such great achievements like Szlingerbaum's "Bruxelles-Transit" (1980), Goulding's Nightmare Alley (1947) or even Fassbinder's Despair (1978), and in newer time most of all with Moodysson's "Lilja 4-ever" (2002). All the main characters of this movies - Melanie Proeschle, Stan Carlisle, Hermann Hermann and Lilja - share their inability to "read people" and pay it in the end with their sanity and/or life. Their nightmare alley is a one-way street, they may well still realize it, but, as Kafka wrote in "The country physician": once followed the night-bell - and there will be no return. But there is also a leitmotif that all movies in question share; a specific use of light which of first guessing appears to be contradicting and which can best be compared to that light which attracts animals living in dark forests before their get the bullet of their hunters. As can be best seen in "Bruxelles-Transit", such a "Trip into the light", as Fassbinder called this phenomenon, is always characterized by specific transitions rather than to a sudden raping maelstrom. From Stan Carlisle we learn that even in the case we succeed temporarily to turn around on our way to the Exitus (cf. again a word by Kafka), this feeling of having defeated our fate is highly fragile and cheating, the Fatum will overtake us quickly. From Lilja we know the perhaps the most terrible insight is that being prisoners of such transit corridors we may even have to rush in order not to miss our possibility to go out of this life. As "The Forest for the Trees" (2003) concerns, we recognize that all stories have in common a story-line that starts, comes to a climax, and then very rapidly ends in a Accelerando Furioso, without a middle part. The way how the director conceived the end of Melanie Proeschle, this is, to speak the truth, almost beyond imagination.

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