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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Distanz

Starts August 19

Daniel (Ken Duken) is a gardener in a botanical garden. At night he causes fatal accidents by throwing stones onto the Autobahn. Later he advances to randomly killing people with a rifle. Jana (Franziska Weisz) works for the administration of the botanical garden. In spite
of Daniel’s obvious disinterest, she pursues him, starts a relationship with him, and moves into his apartment shortly after. When the police arrive at their doorstep, Daniel isn’t home to be questioned. Jana, apparently believing there could be something to their suspicions,
covers for him. Looking for clues, she finds his diary with entries about the killings.

Director and author Thomas Sieben’s intentions were, “to explore what happens when a woman tries to get close to an isolated, reclusive and violent man. Can love heal his addiction to violence? Can there be a happy end for them?” The story is billed as “a story of existentialist conflicts and unconditional love”. Measured on his intentions, the film fails; in every other aspect it does too. Daniel’s part remains undeveloped. To make sure we get that he wants to avoid (eye-) contact, he is directed to stare at the tip of his nose for most of the time. Truly boring! It remains mystifying why Jana, with absolutely no “spark” between them, singled out Daniel, and why Daniel finally gives in to her advances. She comes across like a psychopath herself, the way she pushes herself into his life and tries to make the cover-up their joint cause. This is neither “unconditional’ nor ‘love”. And to the ‘Happy End’: I couldn’t imagine one, even if Daniel was a perfectly “nice guy”.

 

 

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