Dreileben 2: Don't Follow Me Around

Dreileben 2: Don't Follow Me Around

***1/2

Reviewed by: Anne-Katrin Titze

Part 2 in the Dreileben trilogy, Don't Follow Me Around, is the story of Johanna (Jeanette Hain), a police psychologist, who is sent to the small town in Thuringia, where a dangerous mental patient is on the loose. Her assignment is two-fold, she is to assist the local police, as well as investigate them for corruption under cover.

Director and co-screenwriter Dominick Graf is very good at having a lot going on at once. The private past plot, the police corruption plot, the escaped patient plot and a marriage on the rocks plot all intertwine and yet, they all make sense and move each other forward.

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There are more unhealthy breakfasts, police lunches, ice-cream stop overs, thrown out sandwiches and drunken dinners in this one, than there are in all the other New York Film Festival films combined.

At the start, Johanna drops off her little daughter with the grandparents, played by Rüdiger Vogler and Lisa Kreuzer. Vogler and Kreuzer, who were the stars in Wim Wenders' 1974 road movie Alice In The Cities, stay put this time with the kid, and provide some background. The grandmother, who smokes at breakfast, knows whom to blame. "The doctor wants me to smoke five cigarettes." The grandfather explains to the little girl that her mother is going to the legendary place, where Kaiser Barbarossa is sleeping under the Kyffhäuser mountain with his knights in a cave. When there are no longer any ravens flying, he will awake and restore Germany to greatness. For those who have seen part one of the trilogy (Beats Being Dead), the escaped mental patient in the forest may come to mind. Operation Barbarossa was also Hitler's code name for the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

When Johanna arrives in the area, there is a mistake with the hotel booking, so she ends up calling and staying with her old university friend Vera (Susanne Wolff), who moved to Thuringia with her novelist husband Bruno (Misel Maticevic) and is in the middle of renovating their interesting old house, the former culture centre of the town during GDR times.

The two women reminisce, over many bottles of wine, about their college days and discover, now, so many years later, that they had the same boyfriend, once upon a time.

The colleagues from the local police feel insulted to have a woman from the city come to help them. A local pub is, ironically, called Glasnost. At the county fair, Johanna picks out a red-haired woman as bait for the wanted man, whose life will unfold further in part three (One Minute Of Darkness).

Someone is convinced that what was shot was an animal and had hooves. Think David Lynch. "He changed into a deer", makes as much sense as the "Barbarossa hunter", an unfortunate tourist at the hotel who tries to find traces of the famous Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. Water damage, a tricky badger, the blood of a dog, the father of a child, all equally important with strings nimbly tied together at the end. The fantastic interrupts the profane.

Reviewed on: 25 Oct 2011
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A police psychologist renews old acquaintances when she is drafted in to help small town police find an escaped convict.
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Director: Dominik Graf

Writer: Dominik Graf, Markus Busch

Starring: Jeanette Hain, Susanne Wolff, Misel Maticevic

Year: 2011

Runtime: 88 minutes

Country: Germany


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