Opening October 27, 2016
Directed by: Matthias Starte
Writing credits: Matthias Starte
Principal actors: Ludwig Trepte, Saskia Rosendahl, Amelie Kiefer, Dennis Mojen, Ben Münchow, Frederik Götz, Jella Haase
Nirgendwo (translation: “nowhere”) focuses on a group of young people in their mid-twenties. The so-called “Generation Y” has been subject of documentaries and comedies before. Writer/director Matthias Starte, a "Gen Y'er" himself meets them at eyelevel and paints a more differentiated and sympathetic picture of this generation that has been characterized as indecisive, infantile, and over-pampered. Danny (Trepte), a 25-year-old, rather listless student of business management postpones his exams to drive home for his father’s funeral. Having not been on good terms with his father, he undertakes this trip rather reluctantly, but then extends his stay to spend more time with his childhood friends and his former high school sweetheart (Rosendahl), and to sort things out for himself. The seemingly easy-going partying and fooling around can’t hide the fact that all are in some sort of crisis about shaping their future. Though “26 is the new 16” they can’t carry on like teenagers much longer.
With an impressive cast of talented newcomers (also including Jella Haase, Ben Münchow, Frederik Götz, but especially Dennis Mojen and Amelie Kiefer), Matthias Starte created a convincing, well put-together film that would do well with audiences in the U.S. and other countries, too. Had he stayed to straightforward storytelling, it would have been even better. The scenes in which Danny is facing a fox (re: press release to point out his “self-destructive power” that makes him “his own worst enemy”) are superfluous and mystifying rather than enlightening. (Carola A.)