© Constantin Film Verleih GmbH

Mara und der Feuerbringer
Germany 2015

Opening 2 Apr 2015

Directed by: Tommy Krappweis
Writing credits: Tommy Krappweis, Doris Seisenberger, Darina Seng, Nina Trachte, Sebastian B. Voss
Principal actors: Eva Habermann, Heino Ferch, Christoph Maria Herbst, Jan Josef Liefers, Esther Schweins

Mara (Lilian Prent) is 15 and has more problems than many girls her age. Her mother is an in-your-face, all-out hippie and dresses accordingly. She drags Mara to tree conversing and hugging gatherings, as well as sun-breathing seminars. At school she is mobbed by a tall blond classmate and her following; she often has to protect a smaller boy, whom the girls seem to torture with glee. If that weren’t enough, she doubts her own sanity. Who else has frequent daydreams that seem real enough to climb into?

And here we come to the main part of the story. She learns that she is a Spakona or a Seer, which does allow her to climb into her visions, where she faces characters from northern German mythology like Siegfried and Loki and Sigyn. She hangs out in the Middle Ages, still dressed like a 21st century teenager, where she rescues Loki’s magic bowl. Loki, poor thing, is tied to a rock by the intestines of the brother that he killed and the magic bowl must be held over his head at all times. Or there is the imprisonment of Loki’s wife Sigyn. Or how about the sudden appearance of a dragon, looking like an overstuffed crocodile, followed by Siegfried on a horse, who instantly takes off his shirt to show off his biceps – Siegfried’s – not the horse’s.

Mara learns much from her medieval visits, which give her strength to solve her much harder private problems. Along the way she teams up with a new friend, Dr. Reinhold Weissinger, professor for Germanic Mythology. He is played by Jan Josef Liefers, known for his role as Professor Karl-Friedrich Boerne, head of the morgue in a popular TV Tatort series. Liefers is so good that he almost turns into a second Robert Downey Jr.

The story is fun simply because it presents medieval ideas which we may have considered, but didn’t really know much about. It encourages us to do some serious study of the Götterdämmerung and the Nibelungenlieder. Tommy Krappweis is an author, musician, actor and moderator, as well as a film director. He wrote the original book Mara und der Feuerbringer in 2009. It is the first of a trilogy, so that we can look forward to seeing more of Mara. (Becky Tan)

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