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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Maikäfer flieg [Fly Away Home] (2016)

Maikäfer flieg
Director: Mirjam Unger
Writer: Sandra Bohle, Mirjam Unger
Based on: Christine Nöstlinger’s autobiographical novel
Cast: Zita Gaier, Ursula Strauss, Gerald Votava, Konstantin Khabenskiy, Krista Stadler, Heinz Marecek, Paula Brunner
Seen on: 21.3.2016

World War II. 8-year-old Christl (Zita Gaier) spends a lot of time with her grandparents (Krista Stadler, Heinz Marecek) as her mother (Ursula Strauss) is hunting for food and necessities in Vienna. Her father (Gerald Votava) is fighting. Or rather, he is in the hospital with a shot up leg. As the bombings in the city get worse and the grandparents’ apartment is damaged, Christl’s mother hatches a plan to head to a house at the city’s edge where she used to clean. The owner of said house has fled and needs somebody to take care of it anyway. So, Christl, her sister (Paula Brunner) and her mother make their way there, leaving behind her grandparents who are unwilling to move.

Maikäfer flieg is a well-made film and an excellent adaptation of Nöstlinger’s novel. I enjoyed it a lot.

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