April 6th | 08:00 pm
Suburban housewife Helene (Martina Gedeck) believes God has abandoned her. Emotionally frozen and dogged by insomnia, she passively allows life to wash over her as her abusive husband berates her. After she hears self-help guru Eduard E. Gluck (Ulrich Tukur) on the radio, she seeks him out at a hotel conference. As their sexual tension increases, Helene discovers his voyeurism, psychosexual obsessions, and profound self-loathing. Can they ultimately recognize in each other the love and affection they have both long been seeking?Helene used to go to church. Now she believes God has abandoned her. “He was in everything I touched. I could taste it when he had touched me. His love was so great. Can you imagine when such a love leaves you?” she laments. Now Helene whiles away her days cleaning her suburban home, preparing meals for her husband and performing other banal chores, seemingly in a trance. Emotionally frozen and dogged by insomnia, she passively allows life to wash over her.
Her husband berates and abuses her. “It kills me that you sell yourself short! You make yourself so small. That’s not why I married you,” he angrily shouts, slamming her hand in a drawer. A private doctor is called. Two nails must be removed from her bleeding fingers.
Then one day, Helene overhears the musings of Eduard E. Gluck, a self-help guru, on the radio. Her takeaway from his proclamations is that anyone can steer reality with one’s thoughts; anyone can reprogram oneself like a computer. With a renewed sense of purpose, Helene seeks him out at a hotel conference. He tells her he cannot give her the spiritual experience she needs. Yet that evening, they meet for dinner. “Where and when were you last happy with no end in sight,” he asks. “When did you experience original bliss?”
The increasing sexual tension between them results not in a romantic interlude, but instead with Eduard blurting out his pornographic desires to her over the phone. Over time, Helene uncovers Gluck’s voyeurism and psychosexual obsessions as well as his profound self-loathing. Yet, ultimately, in each other they recognize the love and affection they have both long been seeking.
Followed by actress Martina Gedeck in conversation on April 2nd.
New York Premiere
Genre Drama, Love Story
Director Sven Taddicken
Screenplay Sven Taddicken, Stefanie Veith, Hendrik Hölzemann, based on the novel by A.L. Kennedy
Cinematography Daniela Knapp
Cast Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Tukur, Johannes Krisch
Production Companies Frisbeefilms, in co-production with cine plus Filmproduktion, Senator Film Köln, Sky Deutschland
Length 102 min
Awards FIPRESCI Award & Europa Cinemas Label Award, Karlovy Vary 2016; Dioraphte Film & Literature Award, Film by the Sea 2016