A tragicomic movie which focuses on two women and their daily struggle for survival during a summer in Berlin. Katrin, a jobless single mom, and Nike, a nurse, live in the same house and ...
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A tragicomic movie which focuses on two women and their daily struggle for survival during a summer in Berlin. Katrin, a jobless single mom, and Nike, a nurse, live in the same house and are best friends. Although always dating the wrong men and still pursuing for happiness, they don't lose their humor and spend many nights together on Nike's balcony, drinking and chatting. However, Nike gets to know the trucker Ronald one day...Written by
Sliced up lives in East Berlin tickle the ribs. Outstanding social Dramedy.
SUMMER in Berlin (Vor dem Balkon). Viewed at San Sebastian, 2005, image1.jpeg Director Andreas Dresen. Featuring actress Nadla Uhl. My personal favorite in competition here was "Summer in Berlin", (Sommer vorm Balkon) which is an extremely funny social drama set in the run down Prenzlauer Berg district of East Berlin. Andreas Desen, who is steadily building up a filmography of highly regarded independent films, is arguably the most talented and innovative director currently at work in Germany and has already picked up many prizes in a relatively short career. In "Summer before the balcony" (literal translation of the German title) two woman, one an extremely sexy and generally appealing blonde (Nadja Uhl) about 30, and a 39 year old still attractive but highly neurotic brunette, (Inka Frierich) are neighbors in the same tenement and such close friends that there is a borderline erotic bond between them. Uhl, the drop-dead attractive blonde (altho most of the time dressed in cheap jeans and over- tight jerseys) works as an attendant to pathetic helpless old people living alone, which requires her to wipe up rectum juice and other unsavory tasks, but she goes about it with a sunny good natured disposition.
Meanwhile her unemployed divorced brunette buddy has, among other things, a heavy drinking problem, a young daughter, and a tendency to suicidal self-destruction. Enter Andreas the blunt-spoken tattooed slob of a truck driver who, in spite of the fact that he looks like a geek, seems to have a fatal attraction for all of the women who hang out in the drinking dive which is the meeting place for all the low-life characters in the neighborhood. At first it seems impossible that such a beauty as Nadja could ever go for such geek, but there is more to geek than meets the eye – such as a number of former wives and children scattered about the German map and a certain free-wheeling, disarming existentiality. Actor Andreas Schmidt is the kind of character who needs to do nothing more than walk across the screen to make the audience crack up.
This picture is a slice of many lives, people trying to keep afloat as best they can in a prosperous society that has passed them by. It's hard to explain why this is all so ha-ha funny, but it is, and it all ends up on a somewhat promising up-beat note. I would give this picture all the Conchas – with a double Concha for Nadja Uhl – but, alas, I'm not on the jury, and juries tend to have very strange minds of their own. By the way, the script by Wolfgang Kohlhaase is so damn good that it looks like there wasn't any script at all, and the actors were just making the story up as they went along with a little nudging from the director -- and the music is a subtle underpinning of German hits from the seventies that never intrudes but sounds like it emanates from the hearts of the characters themselves. I'm still not sure whether it was just that Nadja totally blew my mind or that the picture really is this good. In any case, this is one to watch for if it ever comes your way.
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