Schau mich nicht so an [Don’t Look at Me That Way] (2015)

Schau mich nicht so an
Director: Uisenma Borchu
Writer: Uisenma Borchu
Cast: Uisenma Borchu, Catrina StemmerAnne-Marie WeiszJosef Bierbichler
Part of: Transition Festival
Seen on: 11.11.2016

Plot:
Hedi (Uisenma Borchu) moves in next doo to Iva (Catrina Stemmer) and her daughter Sofia (Anne-Marie Weisz). Sofia is curious about Hedi and Iva a single parent who needs help, so Hedi finds herself quickly involved in their lives, even beginning a romantic relationship with Iva. When Iva’s father (Josef Bierbichler) turns up, Hedi is intrigued. While Iva desperately tries to keep her distance from him, Hedi seeks him out.

Schau mich nicht so an is a weird film with weird characters. At the beginning I found this weirdness interesting, but it lost more of its charm with every passing minute.

[SPOILERS]

As I said, at the beginning, I found the film interesting, even though I had my problems with Hedi who is simply very egotistical and narcissistic. But okay, I don’t need characters to be nice to be interested in them. But what I would like is to understand where they’re coming from. And that was a general problem I had with the characters in the film, not just Hedi: with every further decision, they became a little more incomprehensible to me.

And the almost non-existant and definitely underdevelopped plot didn’t help with that either. That Hedi would be so incredibly interested in Iva’s father – okay, I could go along with that. That this ends with the two of them hooking up? Weirder decisions have probably been made. But the end was simply weird and left me wondering what it is they wanted me to feel about the fact that Iva and her father end up killing Hedi. Sorry? Sad? She was an ass, she behaved like one, and while that doesn’t mean she deserved to die, it didn’t inspire too much pity on my part either.

Mostly I was angry that the bisexual protagonist of the film was shown to be a untrustworthy, cheating asshole who had to pay with her life for that fact. At least Iva was bi as well, so it wasn’t the only queer person in the film who seemed to prove all biphobic prejudices and suffered that particular fate, but since the film is at least as much about Hedi as Hedi is about Hedi, it does feel that way anyway.

The most interesting thing for me was the way Mongolia was included in the film – Hedi is a Mongolian immigrant in Germany and her roots are very present in the film. I would have loved more scenes in Mongolia. But that’s really the only thing I wanted from the film apart from it ending.

Summarizing: Can’t really keep its own promises of telling an interesting story.

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