In the summertime, in a house by a lake near Berlin, a gathering between playwriter Konstantin, his uncle Alex with whom he lives, Irene, an actress who is Alex’s sister and Konstantin’s mother, and Agnes, Konstantin’s first love. In a matter of three afternoons, the family, the last shabby defence against solitude, falls into ruins.
In this loose adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, everything is roughly the same yet slightly different – the family carpets are at the pawn shop, but might still be retrieved, Irene has a new lover but only considers it a fling, Agnes doesn’t have her old room at her mother’s anymore but still comes back like every summer. Since they are all too self-absorbed to really look at each other, each loyalty may hide an act of cowardice, each promise, an old resentment. Is Konstantin staying at the house to look after his uncle, or to postpone the moment he will submit his work to public appraisal? Does Agnes embrace him to say goodbye or to get rid of her childhood? Does Irene love her grown-up son, or the baby who made her a new person?
“What do we need?” Konstantin asks his uncle. “Courage, common sense, hope, faith.” “What do you believe in?”, Konstantin asks. “In isolated and often unexpected moments.” (M.H.)
Original version : German.
Subtitles : English, French.
Script : Angela Schanelec, from « La Mouette » of Anton Tchekov.
Photography : Reinhold Vorschneider.
Editing : Bettina Böhler.
Sound : Johannes Grehl.
Casting : Jirka Zett, Miriam Horwitz, Angela Schanelec, Fritz Schediwy, Agnes Schanelec, Katharina Linder.
Production : Nachmittagfilm (Angela Schanelec), ZDF (Hansjörg Kop).
Distribution : Shellac (Thomas Ordonneau).
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- The Dreamed Path, 2016.
- Princip Text, in Sarajevo's Bridges, 2014.
- Orly, 2010.
- Afternoon, 2007.
- Marseille, 2004.
- Passing Summer, 2001.
- Places in Cities, 1998.
- My sister’s Good Fortune, 1995 .
- I Stayed in Berlin all Summer, 1994.
- Prague, March 92, 1992.
- Far Away, 1992.
- Lovely Yellow Color, 1991.
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