18-year old Martin is completely forlorn. He is looking for someone on his own wavelenth. His only refuge is with his eccentric neighbor, Theodora, who helps Martin sift through responses ...
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18-year old Martin is completely forlorn. He is looking for someone on his own wavelenth. His only refuge is with his eccentric neighbor, Theodora, who helps Martin sift through responses to his personal ads. Soon, Martin is drawn to Hannah and Her Brothers, a local cabaret. The owner, Hannah, is a man with a secret - one that Martin shares.
Very quirky Slovak film; overall a pleasant surprise
I didn't know what to expect from HANNAH & HER BROTHERS, but was ultimately quite pleasantly surprised. Central character Martin is attempting to accept his sexuality, and much of the film seems to balance between symbolic representations of his fears and real depictions of his frustrations. In exploring the former, the film is far more interesting, remaining universal (at least in speaking to gay people), even while adding in a considerable amount of Fellini-style oddness.
Of course there is considerably more to the gay and lesbian universe than this - and characters like Martin (young, attractive, lovable, tortured, angsty) form the center of far too much queer cinema, at the expense of everyone else. But the story offers plenty of surprises and is very imaginatively filmed, with plenty of loopy symbolism accenting the varied personal dramas of Martin (and the other characters, without exception) nicely. The oddball neighbor (Theodora) is quite interesting, in a Maude (HAROLD &...) sort of way, and the rather volatile family seems straight out of AMARCORD. The overall look is quite dark - very grainy and shadowy - a sign perhaps of a small budget, but symbolically quite reflective of the ever-changing moods of everyone on screen, and the camera-work is fairly quiet and un-gimmicky, even during the quirkiest moments. Music - all Slovak cabaret - is very impressively used throughout. Overall I would recommend - this director (Vladimír Adásek) is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
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