Focus - Sehnsucht - | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián


A film by Valeska Grisenbach

Sehnsucht, Valeska Grisenbach

Sehnsucht, Valeska Grisebach, Alemania, 2005, 88' DCP OV with Spanish subtitles


The translation of this film's title, the second by its director, is ‘Nostalgia’. Nostalgia of the past, of a fulfilling life, of when things worked out, when nothing was broken yet? we might ask.

Markus and Ella live in a small paradise with two hundred inhabitants close to Berlin, have a child and are happy with their simple life and plans for the future. She is a housewife and sings in the local church choir. Markus works at a metalworking company and during his free time he is a volunteer firefighter. Life goes on, life is, life is… (as singer Rafael Berrio would say). Life is what happens while you live: one night, Markus goes to a dinner with the firefighters he works with. At the dinner they drink, sing, dance and drink some more. The following morning, everything has changed forever (as singer Miren Iza, Tulsa, would say). That's when we return to the title, when we go back to the definition that Cioran gave of nostalgia: “The obsession with being somewhere else, the impossibility of the instant”.

This is the tragic story of Markus and Ella: told, sung, danced, suggested, shown. Valeska Grisebach continues in the tradition of filmmakers such as Kelly Reichardt or Claire Denis, directors who through details, ellipses, scars, doubts and irresolvable doubt, build their characters.

Best film and FIPRESCI award at the Gijón film Festival 2006.

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