Opening 9 Nov 2023
Dieter and Eva have been married for almost seventy years. Director Pia Lenz follows them as they go about their daily lives, mostly puttering around the house that Dieter built and Eva made a home. As the days go on, Eva’s health begins to deteriorate and the couple share the ups and downs of a lifetime together: the love, the joys, the frustration, the sorrows, and the betrayals. Much of this is relayed from various entries of Eva’s journals (read by Nina Hoss), which she meticulously kept since young adulthood. As their time together slowly comes to an end, they look towards a future apart.
Where Für Immer particularly succeeds is in showing the way that relationships can adapt and change throughout life. In the beginning of their relationship, Dieter and Eva have a rather typical 1950’s relationship, he goes to work and she stays home with the children. She is often overwhelmed and saddened with this lifestyle; he goes out partying at night leaving her alone to deal with the house and children. They have good periods and bad periods in their relationship, even separating for a spell. Still, they come back together. In their old age, as Eva becomes weaker, Dieter takes on more of the household tasks and does his best to care for her, a sharp change from a man who did not take on any such tasks in his youth. He is the quieter half of the relationship, perhaps a given considering the importance the film places on Eva’s journal entries. His perspective is largely shown rather than told, as he works diligently to take care of their house and Eva’s health; he is also filmed still physically doing well as he rollerblades around a gym. Despite all of the turmoil of their relationship over the years, in the present their deep abiding love is overwhelmingly obvious. While Für Immer certainly tugs at the heartstrings, it is also full of humor and romance and is a meaningful glimpse at the complexities of love and the inevitability of death which we all face as humans. (Rose Finlay)