Reviewed by: Chris

The gritty visual impact of a teenage girl walking over to another teenage girl (who is minding her own business) and then punching her brutally in the face for no reason is hard to ignore. In a West German suburb, a gang of girls struggle with their own angst. Yvonne is due to go to prison. Katharina has resettled from Russia to Germany and, although one of the gang, is ridiculed for her trainspotter boyfriend and vilified for her origins, while the other Russians who know her say she brings shame on them.

Princess (a name tattooed with glitter on the bottom of a pair of jeans) has a heavy dose of mindless violence, foul language, and some raw sexuality as the girls kick the shit out of each other and anyone else who ruffles their god-given right to be hooligans. These girls calmly discuss jail and parties as they get their nails done. The sexual attraction, especially with more 'normal' people, highlights how sex can be appealing when someone has nothing else to offer (in a 'down and dirty' sort of way). Hoping to prove he's a man, trainspotter boy volunteers for the forces and being sent to Afghanistan. Racist exchanges are not limited to Russians - those of Turkish origins get pulled in too. The gang's worryingly precocious young friend - a child of about eight or nine - copies their mannerisms and aggressive language, bluffing her way into a seedy night club - "she's a dwarf", they tell the doorman.

Copy picture

Princess can be visually arresting at times but would have been more shocking if made 10 years ago. The editing is choppy in parts, but the main problem is the story, which has little context or overall point. It is difficult to care very much about these youngsters, and the alienation of their parents and community offers little chance of integration (although this may be the point the director is trying to make). The acting is excellent - all the characters are completely convincing - but whether we can be bothered being convinced is another matter.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
Share this with others on...
Girl gangs in German suburbia.

Director: Birgit Grosskopf

Writer: Birgit Grosskopf

Starring: Irina Potapenko, Henriette Müller, Desirée Jaeger, Amina Schichterich

Year: 2006

Runtime: 82 minutes

Country: Germany


Birds 2007
EIFF 2006

Search database:

If you like this, try:

Pool Of Princesses