'The Fishing-Girl of Bodensee' is a weak movie, but it's an excellent example of 'Heimatfilm', a genre unique to the German-speaking world. 'Heimat' is the German word for 'country' or 'homeland'. Heimatfilmen feature stories that take place largely outdoors, emphasising the countryside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There is usually a young heroine who somehow embodies the spirit of the land. Nature is celebrated, specifically Germanic nature.
Maria, a poor orphan, lives with her grandfather Grassl in a remote fishing hut on the shore of Bodensee, where she ekes out an existence with her fishing-lines. Her mother is long dead, and the identity of her father is unknown. (Heimatfilmen were not usually this honest about such things.) The nearest neighbours are the Bruckbergers, who are wealthy ... in fact, the Bruckberger daughters have a motorboat, which scares away the fish Maria needs to catch for her livelihood. But Karl Bruckberger also has a handsome young son, Hans. Guess what happens.
This movie is by the numbers. It does, however, benefit from some beautiful German scenery, photographed in exquisite colour. Unfortunately, most Heimatfilmen (including this one) were more concerned with beautiful scenery than with interesting stories. But most of the actresses in this movie are quite pleasant to look at. I would call them splendid examples of Aryan womanhood, but then somebody might get the wrong idea. I'll rate this rustic romance 4 out of 10.
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