Sunburned (2019)

Director: Carolina Hellsgård
Writer: Carolina Hellsgård
Cast: Zita Gaier, Gedion Oduor Wekesa, Sabine Timoteo, Nicolais Borger, Malik Adan, Flora Thiemann, Anima Schwinn, Mehdi Lamrini
Seen on: 14.9.2020

Claire (Zita Gaier) is on holidays in a big club hotel in Spain with her mother Sophie (Sabine Timoteo) and her sister Zoe (Nicolais Borger). Her mother and sister are quickly busy flirting and have little interest in spending time with Claire. When Claire meets the Senegalese refugee Amram (Gedion Oduor Wekesa) who sells bracelets on the beach, her desire to help him quickly turns into a deeper emotinal connection for her.

Sunburned is a beautifully made film that combines a coming-of-age tale with a serious political topic in a way that feels very natural. It stays with Claire’s childlike perspective at all times which is often to its strength, but does fall a little short sometimes. Even so, it is a strong film worth seeing.

The film poster showing Claire (Zita Gaier) with fox mask.
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Das Vaterspiel [Kill Daddy Good Night] (2009)

Das Vaterspiel is an adaptation of Josef Haslinger‘s book of the same name, directed by Michael Glawogger and starring Helmut Köpping, Sabine Timoteo, Ulrich Tukur, Christian Tramitz and Otto Tausig.

Das Vaterspiel tells the intertwined history of three families during and after WW II. Ratz [translates to rat] (Helmut Köpping) is struggling with daddy issues – his father (Christian Tramitz) is a successful politician and quite overwhelming in his presence. To get over this, Ratz developed a computer game, where he can kill his father over and over again and which he tries to market unsuccessfully. When Ratz gets a call from the mysterious Mimi (Sabine Timoteo), whom he used to study with, to come to New York and help her with the rebuilding of her cellar, he grabs the chance and leaves. Once there, though, he discovers that Mimi is hiding her grandfather (Otto Tausig) in said cellar. The grandfather fled Europe after the Nazis were overthrown and fears persecution.
This story is intercut with the interview of a man (Ulrich Tukur) telling his family’s story in Lithuania during the war and how his father was killed.

Josef Haslinger is one of Austria’s leading literary figures and Michael Glawogger one of the most renowned Austrian directors. So I expected a lot from this movie (without having read the book itself). Unfortunately, I was gravely disappointed. The movie is unfocused, the acting (with the exceptions of Ulrich Tukur and Otto Tausig) is sub-par, the casting sucks and the story is just plain bad.

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