A young German school teacher begins a new job, a fresh start to hopeful future. She has a vision of her life as a trusted teacher and beloved member of her new neighborhood. Things begin to slip, plans don't quite match her expectations and she falls behind in her life. She is unable to manage the casual cruelty of every day life and it becomes a burden of loneliness and source of chaos she can't escape.
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot
Performed by Grandaddy
Courtesy of V2
Written by Jason Lytle
Published by BMG Songs, Inc. o/b/o Genghis Music, Deadlineless & Jason Lytle See more »
Maren Ade's debut. I wasn't expecting too much out of this one, since it doesn't have much of a reputation and I didn't really like Ade's sophomore feature, Everyone Else. I did like her third film, Toni Erdmann, but I kind of figured that was a major step forward for her. To my surprise, I found Forest for the Trees to be her best work so far. Shot on video, this is the story of a lonely, young teacher (Eva Löbau). She isn't too good at her new job, and she's not too good at life outside of school, either. Her 9th grade students walk all over her and the only friendship she can strike up is an awkward one with her neighbor. Löbau's neediness is exacerbated by work stress, and her friend soon grows annoyed with her. As someone who dipped his toes into teaching, I felt like this would have been my experience and, even though I spent a lot of time learning how to do it, I abruptly decided it was not for me. This situation is one of my nightmares, and I felt every painful moment of this film like a needle in my flesh. The film might have seemed perfect to me if not for the sort of cheap, magical realism ending. It's unpleasant, but truthful. Outstanding.
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