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German film double feature: Before I saw “Sommer vorm Balkon”, I was very (!) pleased to lay hands onRequiem“, another film based on the story of a university youngster whos plans and dreams for independence falls victim to religious craze, established traditions and epileptic fits. The film is not just very good, it is in particular very interesting. It plays with viewerssympathies for the main character, because that girl is not just a darling and tries to break out of her 1950s village prison. She is also religious in way that is odd to observe and that makes her considerably harder to respect. She is caught between the fanaticism of her mother and the complete agnosticism of her father, who would do anythingworship God or the Devil – just to maintain some form of family peace. But his daughter wants serious signs of God‘s support, and she wants an independent live, and she wants God‘s help when she asks for it, and she wants to be cured, and she wants a normal live just like her buddies at university. Her boyfriend finds that appealing for a while, but it is quite clear that he will not be able to protect her from her religion and her family.

The film appears a bit undecided on whether to show life in the 50s or 60s, with all the troubles a sick girl will experience, or whether it really wants to go for the Excorcist story, with screaming and spitting and praying and dying. Both domains are mixed a bit half-heartedly, and when she surrenders and does not believe in her ability to live independently of God‘s system anymore, the end titles jump in. That‘s a bit strange, but maybe a necessary decision given all those US productions visualising the last instances of her life in full colour.

here is sheer enthusiasm on part of the BBC site to be found

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