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I Am Here
by Marinell Haegelin

Director: Anders  Morgenthaler, Germany | Denmark

The happily married, middle-aged executive is desperate: yet another  miscarriage, a dismal diagnose, and Peter’s (Sebastian Schipper) refutation.  Inadvertently, she hears about a prostitution-cum-infant-market enclave on the  Czech border. Maria’s (Kim Basinger) near-obsession for a child overrides  everything: marriage, career, and common sense. Impulsively Maria sets off; en  route, she befriends a panda-dressed diminutive junkie. Their mutually beneficial  deal is terminated in lieu of a fix. But, area customs impede and burden  Christian’s (Jordan Prentice) gratification, necessitating a cautiously  conciliatory reunion with Maria. Unaware how perilous an act this is, until an  arrant Russian (Peter Stormare) catches up and introduces them to his reality:  a violent, brutal world.

Shot  in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, Danish director Anders Morgenthaler daringly  augments this thriller with paranormal elements, albeit  very different from the norm. A small cast delivers huge performances. The  editing, music, special effects, and sound design compliment Sturla Brandth  Grøvlen’s unique camerawork. Morgenthaler infuses wonderment and  understanding—how desire for a child can supercede all else—into his screenplay.  A natural extension perhaps for this comic artist and children’s books author, thereby  bringing an absorbing, novel film to fruition.