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Ich war zuhause, aber (I was at Home, but)
by Shelly Schoeneshoefer

Angela Schanelec, Germany

ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER (I WAS AT HOME, BUT) by the Hamburger female director Angela Schanelec, was a perfect example of modern style film making that puts me to sleep. In fact in the course of the film I noticed that half of the audience indeed was sleeping. The film starts off well as a hare racing across the screen while an old dog attempts to catch it. The next scene old dog successfully captured the rabbit and an old donkey enters into a depilated old house. All I could think of has this something to do with Bremen’s Musicians fairytale? Then the film switches to the return of the film’s protagonist Astrid’s son Phillip (Jakob Lassalle). His disappearance in the forest and reappearance in a strange zombie like state has left his mother with much to explain. Astrid (Maren Eggert) herself seems unemotional, at times awkward and constantly trying to understand what is going on her and her son.  Schanelec is clearly experimenting with narrative as well as a controlled structure of the film and it is so structured with every aspect being controlled. I felt the hand of the director in every scene of this film. I could even imagine her voice saying to actors, ok start moving,  now stop, now turn, now move again. Then in the middle of the film, comes the play “Hamlet” which really annoyed me. I felt like it was manipulative and an amateur attempt to philosophically explain the essence of this film. I felt like she was trying to attempt to do what Wem Wenders did in the 1980’s with WINGS ÜBER BERLIN (WINGS OF DESIRE)but she failed miserably. Although there were a few comical moments, I found this film tedious. I cannot understand why this film was the recipient of the Silver Bear for Best Director; a great disappointment in my eyes.