The State I'm In

The State I'm In


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

At a Portuguese coastal resort, 15-year-old Jeanne meets Brian-Wilson-obsessed surfer dude, Heinrich. Their tentative holiday romance is rudely interrupted when Jeanne's parents - terrorists who've been on the run since before Jeanne was born - fail to rendevous with a contact and are robbed.

Fleeing back to Germany, the family meets an old colleague who no longer has the stomach for revolution.

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"I'm through with that kind of crap," he tells them.

On the move again and running out of options, Jeanne realises the family can hide out at an abandoned house Heinrich described. Jeanne tries to avoid him, but inevitably they confront one another. As the teenagers try to sort out their feelings, Jeanne's parents hatch a desperate plan...

Christian Petzold's debut feature, co-scripted with Harun Farocki, has clearly been made with care. The characters, their interior/exterior conflicts and inter-relationships, are well-observed, while the consciously cold, clinical mise-en-scene is appropriate.

The director also elicits good performances from all concerned. Especially worthy of mention is Julia Hummer as Jeanne. On screen for almost the entire running time, her convincing portrayal of the emotional turmoils of an ordinary teenager in an extraordinary family situation, carries the film.

The State I'm In deserves your attention, marking its director and lead as talents to watch in the future.

Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2001
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Old revolutionaries still on the run flee from Portugal to Germany with their teenage daughter.

Director: Christian Petzold

Writer: Christian Petzold, Harun Farocki

Starring: Julia Hummer, Barbara Auer, Richy Muller, Bilge Bingul, Gunther Maria Halmer, Katharina Schuttler

Year: 2000

Runtime: 104 minutes

Country: Germany

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