Do actors have a different approach to life? Can you be too old to be an artist? Why are there so few women in this film? Why was Eurydice so enchanted by the music and why does the heroine have to die? Is life really a stage or is life staged? Why do all young French actors look so cute and all old French actors look like chauvinists? Why did the distribution company decide to have a press screening of the film dubbed in German instead of showing the French original with English subtitles? Why are audiences so lazy? Why do we have such different ideas about what “reading” means? Why are only three cinemas in Berlin showing this film? Why do we trust reviews? Why can’t more films be like this one? Is film always a lie?
Two women want to have baby. It’s as simple as that. The storyline of Zwei Mütter (Two Mothers) couldn’t be more straightforward – the film starts and ends with Isabella and Katja and their wish to have a child. There are no subplots or larger narrative distractions and hardly any shots without Isabella or Katja in them.
Two women want to have a baby. It’s as complicated as that. Isabella and Katja are a lesbian couple and German law makes it impossible for them to have a sperm donor or raise a child like a straight couple.
I was on a fishing boat when I lost track of time and space. The dark swallowed me and night turned into day. I didn’t know whether I was sick or healthy, dreaming or working, whether I was hallucinating or wide awake. I became one with the ocean and its creatures which I killed every day. Its ghosts followed me from above and beyond, from up and down, from inside the water, and inside the boat. I had met Leviathan.
Mansfeld is a small town in Saxony-Anhalt near the Harz Mountains. It has approximately 9,600 inhabitants and apparently Martin Luther spent a big part of his childhood there. Mansfeld used to be a mining town and has 15 different districts. I researched all of this because, quite frankly, I was sure that Mansfeld didn’t exist. Not only had I never heard of it before, but after watching Mario Schneider’s documentary film, I was convinced that this place, its people, and rituals existed only in the fantasy of their children and were nothing but a beautiful fiction.
The image of an abandoned church has high symbolical value. When the camera gets sight of the central aisle where people once prayed, we hear police sirens ring outside and discover big pools of rainwater on the floor, shimmering from the reflections of sunlight. Like in Tarkovsky’s Stalker, we seem to smell the decay of the post-apocalyptic, but are quickly reminded that we are still in the here and now.