This is a masterpiece. We really need more films like that. What kind of impression do we have of America? Hollywood is very busy delivering one sugar coated blockbuster after another. Well move over cheesy film factory, because this is a breathtaking, raw, edgy film with great characters who you want to follow much longer than it’s 2 hours. Barbara Eder and Constanze Schumann have created a really moving film which understands its characters and sympathizes with them without being preachy in any shape or form. Unlike many other filmmakers who decided to enrich the world with their ideas of a place and attitudes to it (e.g. Slumdog Millionaire) Eder has spent some time as a teenager in Brownsville and can really communicate the emptiness of the architecture and the nowhere feeling of this place.

The acting ( Raul Juarez, Aimee Lizette Saldivar, Patty Barrera, Carlos Benavides, Zuleyma Jaime and Luis de los Santos) is some of the best I have seen in a while and the camera is just right. Not too arty and contrived (yes too arty is actually possible) and no sugar coating whatsoever. Instead I had the feeling that I had actually been there and got to know the people. Even Linklaters “Dazed and Confused” which is a cult movie is glossy compared to Christian Haakes camera. Bright colours make you taste the heat of Texas on the tip of your tongue and the natural light of the summer heat is edgy and fascinating. The story intwines the lives of different teenagers, they are all from the same school and they have different ways of coping with boredom and their daily lives. These nowhere places, there are also many in New Zealand and Australia, these endless suburban spaces where you are stranded if you don’t have a car are somewhat arty and disturbing at the same time. Anything can happen, I find them alien like and unpredictable.

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In the beginning you could assume that the movie is slightly tempted to play with your typical cliches, which we know soo well from the O.C or Gossip Girl. The cheer-leader, the nerd, the rebel, the woman who seems to want a family. But Eder doesn’t waste any time on that, every character is deeply fascinating in itself, the problems of each individual are carefully observed and you can’t help but like all of them and sympathize with their lostness and sheer boredom. The ending is left open and that’s a good choice, because what could be a happy ending? Moving away perhaps, getting out, starting afresh, but is there any difference from any other place? And does the lost feeling ever subside? One thing is for sure: this film lingers in your head long after the lights have been switched on, because of its sheer perfection, achieved by the small team of five people. So drop everything and go and see it now.

Feature by: Barbara Stanzl

Barbara Stanzl

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