Opening 14 Nov 2013
Sabine Michel, writer and director of this documentary, and her four girlfriends had just graduated school in the German Democratic Republic in 1990, when East and West Germany were reunited. Overnight their country ceased to exist and was joined with a political system they had been taught to view as ‘the enemy’. A unique experience: different from the re-unification the generation of their parents went through, and – though with parallels – different from the global immigrant experience.
The film traces their paths: their – after all – different upbringings, and the directions their lives took after a brief period together as au pairs in Paris. Their common history remains a strong bond. Very personal portraits emerge by giving the women space to speak for themselves, by observing them each in their environment and how they interact in the group. Admirable how frank and generous they share their thoughts for this project! Unfortunately at times it gets a little confusing: after all there are two ‘Veras’ and two ‘Claudias’; childhood photographs are shown without sufficient explanations, and the director speaks with her own voice and through a narrator. Her personal health issue has undeniably symbolic character, but still became too much of a topic. (Carola A)