Imagine Irina's shock returning home and finding her parents slain. The invasion of troops in her ideally, and serene world, is shattered in an instant. Irina must abandon her surroundings, fleeing to an unknown land, where in order to make a living, she must resort to prostitute herself to survive in her new environment. It is a sordid world, quite the opposite to where Irina grew up among a loving family.
Two things happen to Irina that will mark her forever. She meets a homeless man, Kalle, who has given up because perhaps a lack of jobs, living in the streets, and the chance encounter with defense lawyer, Noah Leyden. Both men will have important roles when Irina needs them, for love, and legal help.
The wonderful Doris Dorrie, the distinguished German director, outdoes herself in this portrait of despair and finding ultimately the bliss of the title. Ms Dorrie, who wrote the adaptation of Ferninand Von Schirach novel, shows affinity to the material and what she is able to do with it. She gets amazing performances from all her principals, showing the hard realities of the life on the streets and the love of Irina and Kalle that transcends multiple obstacles, both finding happiness in their inhospitable world.
The casting of Alba Rohrwacher, as Irina, pays off in surprising ways. This actress has been making a name for herself in the Italian cinema, but she is perfectly at home working in a different language. She shows an inner strength and an uncommon tenderness toward the kind man who falls in love with her. Vinzenz Kiefer, seen as Kalle, is effective as the homeless man. Mr. Kiefer shows a natural talent in creating his character. Mathias Brandt appears as the lawyer who makes it possible for Irina and Kalle to remain together, as they clearly are meant to share the bliss they find in each other.
Another triumph for Ms Dorrie and a film that stays in the viewer's mind for quite a long time.
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