"Unpolished", a snapshot from a 14 year old girls' troubled childhood, is based on a true story. Writer-director Pia Marais has drawn heavily on her own experience of growing up in troubled times: "My parents' chaotic life was a major source of inspiration for this movie". As a result, her movie is as touching as it is personal. Yet it is also strikingly similar to Christian Petzold's "The state I am in" (2001). While Marais' lead character Stevie (Ceci Chuh) is raised by a marauding gang of flower power slackers, Petzold's Jeanne (Julia Hummer) is going from town to town with her fugitive terrorist parents. But from the girls' point of view, it doesn't make a big difference that Stevie's family gives peace a chance while Jeanne's parents are blowing up the neighborhood. What matters to them is that they are their parents' second priority at best. When the very people you look to for good sense and guidance have their heads in the clouds, you end up feeling you have nowhere left to run. Outstanding performances by screen débutante Ceci Shuh as Stevie, Pascale Schiller as her hapless mother, and Birol Ünel as her drug-smuggling father.
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