Halbschatten (2013)

 |  Drama  |  1 August 2013 (Germany)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 93 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 13 critic

Merle follows the invitation of her lover to spend the summer in the South of France. She is surprised to find only his children in the summer house. Did she expect more than she should have? An ambiguous summer full of silent desire.

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Cast overview:
Anne Ratte-Polle ...
Emma Bading ...
Nathalie Richard ...
Soroosh Lavasani ...
David Fennelly ...
Laurent Pons ...
Geneviève Tenne
Maria Laborit ...
Shop Assistant
Loïc Pichon ...
Jean-Christophe Folly ...


Summer days on the French Riviera. A hillside villa with an open sea view. Whoever lives here has made it. Merle follows the invitation of her lover but upon arrival she only meets his children, Emma and Felix. They are not aware of their fathers' relationship. A quiet but persistent fight for the status quo begins. Merle struggles for the possibility of a socially promising future, which is increasingly fading away before her own eyes Written by unafilm

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Release Date:

1 August 2013 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Clair Obscur  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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References Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Slow does not have to mean bad
13 August 2015 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

But you have to deliver in other areas then in order to make a really slow-moving film like this one worth a watch. "Halbschatten" is not only a pretty pretentious title, it is also Nicolas Wackerbarth's fifth (including 3 short films) movie as director and writer. It's his latest project so far, from 2 years ago, and Wackerbarth is really more prolific as an actor. The central character is played by Anne Ratte-Polle, who is probably only going to be known to German audiences, and even there only to those who watch a whole lot of movies. Supporting actor Leonard Proxauf maybe more people will recognize from his work in "Das Weiße Band", although if I hadn't known it was him, I probably would not have recognized him. Anyway, about Ratte-Polle, it's fairly difficult to evaluate her performance here. I really don't feel she has been given a whole lot to work with, but she does have some pretty unnecessary nude scenes, which added nothing to the story in my opinion. So it's pretty much impossible to say if she gave a good performance. It was really almost impossible to shine in that role.

A woman in her 30s is invited by her boyfriend to spend the summer in his house in France and she accepts the invitation. When she arrives, however, she only finds his children there and this is also with whom she spends almost the entire movie. There is a plot twist in the end, but it's slightly unrealistic in my opinion and, even if it was an interesting idea, it cannot really make up for the boredom from everything before that. This film is so slow that fittingly in the very last shot you see a character running wildly and then the closing credits appear, so you might think he somehow destroyed the whole movement speed and atmosphere of the film and that's why it ended. At least the film only runs for roughly 75 minutes without credits, so it's very short actually, which somewhat saves the film from dragging any further. I see no real achievements in this one that would let me recommend it. Thumbs down.

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