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thin, short, refined
'Heaven' is a wonderfully subtle film, full of refined camera work and scarce in dialogue. It stands as a good representation for the 'X Filme' project that Tom Tykwer co-heads, which aims to create films both new and thought-provoking as well as successful in their theater runs.
At roughly an hour and a half, 'Heaven' is a cinematic triumph that nudges open the gates to the philosophy and psychology of the lone man or woman along with those of society on the whole. It takes place in Italy, but Tykwer himself stated in an interview that really it could have been shot in any number of places with the message remaining the same. 'Heaven' is a thinly-scripted, in-depth commentary on issues prevailing throughout the modern world. Drugs, sex, sexuality, identity and the fibres that make up humans as a race are what this film revolves around: it is not a film for tourists or spectators. The excellent performances of Giovanni Ribisi and Cate Blanchett (apart and together) should only be missed if you are mainly looking for external adventure and action. Though it shares its part in weapons, scheme and drama, 'Heaven' is not blockbuster material: it is art material.
A sacrificial tale
This film hasn't gotten any attention outside of the German-speaking region of Austria and Germany, Switzerland. It tells the story of Agathe Schweigert searching for her son. In retrospective captions we learn that her son fled Germany after organizing anti-Nazi action in the early years. He flees to Paris from where he writes her about his routines and life. When the letters stop coming, Agathe takes off on her first ever trip to find the son for which she gave everything. Her travels take her to Paris, eventually to Southern France and Spain, where her son is fighting in the Resistance against Franco. Göring is a remarkable actress and displays the hardships and longing for a son with determination and quiet zeal. She is supported by a string of foreign actors, some more, some less capable of adapting to their supposed accents. Several of them make fine appearances. The film is a rare glance at Europe in the 1970s (where are the tourists?) and allows for an extremely real look at Germany in the 1940s. It is unpredictable and worth a good look.