This film gets a lot of exposure at Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals. Yet, its lesbian theme is underlying and understated (by the standards of these festival films anyway). Its "anywhere in eastern Germany" setting is also subtle, and maybe not even an issue to those not familiar with Germany.
The film is actually similar to another lesbian themed, but in that case set "anywhere in western Germany" and the "foreigner" is Iranian and not Polish: "Fremde Haut" (or "Taking off the Veil") both having been shown here in Brazil in these last two months. Both pictures are German "indies", with German women, both stereotypically Aryan blonds not previously drawn to lesbian relations, but having suffered at the hands of macho German males. Both are lower middle class working German women, and they both fall for mysterious foreign women with immigration problems and bigger criminal accusations or issues.
In this film's case, the working class Aryan female falls for a Polish illegal immigrant, under very unusual circumstances. They both live in prefabricated, popular apartments in the outskirts of a city (which in time reveals itself as Leipzig or perhaps deep East Berlin). They lead everyday life with some humor and resignation.
But their quiet lives spin out of control when the German woman hides her mysteriously fascinating Polish neighbor Jola - who is in fear of being arrested and deported, believing to have accidentally killed her boss, the local bar owner, also one of the neighborhood's best known characters.
When the German Dora finds out that the accusations against Jola have been lifted, she lies about the status of the police investigation in order to keep her Polish neighbor for herself.
From there, the movie begins in earnest. In such a tight knit community, it is difficult to keep any detail of one's life from others, so life becomes complicated and somewhat exciting in this usually drab suburb.
It's a very worthwhile film. But it's not so much gay themed as may be advertised, as it is a film about loneliness, captivity, and life in the dull artificial satellite neighborhoods left behind by Soviet style planning. Very recommendable!
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