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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Die mit dem Bauch tanzen

 ½      

Germany 2013
Starts June 20, 2013

Directed by: Carolin Genreith             
Writing credits: Carolin Genreith, Editorial team—Jutta Krug, WDR, Enno Hungerland, WDR
Cast: Carolin Genreith’s mother, Marita, Birgit
Length: 74 minutes

Die mit dem Bauch tanzenThe opening scene—women belly dancing on-screen while cows watch in the background—promises more than the film delivers. Writer / director Carolin Genreith, 28 and living in Berlin, is shocked by her 50-year old mom. Carolin is already afraid of getting old, despondent that her life lacks a “real” job, and a man with all those trimmings. Whereas her mom, still living in rural Eifel, became tired of being a farmer’s wife so divorced Carolin’s dad. She now lives with a pony-tailed boyfriend, and has an embarrassing hobby. Once a week she attends, with a group of mostly equally as old women, a belly dancing class. The group’s annual weekend sojourn to perform on the streets in Paris, France is approaching.

This account offers a plethora of insight, emotions, and knowledge to explore. Yet Carolin wanders from different kitchens, to a caravan, to the dance class, to gardens and parties, to a painting exhibition, etcetera, extracting mostly mundane information—scant attention is given to the fact that this group has been dancing together since 1990. Mom and two other belly dancers are our main information sources, but sans title cards we have to work out the personal connections, and Carolin whines off camera throughout. Filmed on behalf of WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), this documentary is more attuned for television audiences—it was shown twice on WDR in January 2013—whereby at least one could switch stations, or unobtrusively doze. ()

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