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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Back For Good

star4x3 1/2

Germany 2016
Opening May 31, 2018  

Directed by: Mia Spengler                                                                                     
Writing credits: Stefanie Schmitz, Mia Spengler
Principal actors: Kim Riedle, Leonie Wesselow, Juliane Köhler, Nicki von Tempelhoff, Yasemin Cetinkaya

backforgood-1 2Angie (Kim Riedle) is sure that fame is within her grasp, but current finances necessitate living with mom (Juliane Köhler). Home… worn, cramped—a step backward. Moni’s house rules make Angie cringe, whereby a subtle war of wits begins, with kid sister Kiki (Leonie Wesselow) caught in the middle. Angie’s unfeelingly comments about their dorky lifestyle hurts their feelings. On the flip side, Angie oozes charm at seeing a “Promi” or local VIP, and in no time arranges gigs. Nevertheless, it stuns her to learn Kiki is epileptic; subsequently, Moni’s illness is totally inconvenient. Stuck with Kiki, they rub off on each other somewhat positively. Frantically racing after her dream, dragging Kiki along on various escapades, Angie takes former friends’ kindnesses for granted. Until Angie goes too far, whereby an argument uncovers a bitter truth… “What kind of people are you?” Ultimately, the answer is about a second chance for everyone.

In her impressive debut film, director Mia Spengler takes a hard look at family cover-ups, community’s moral denominators, degrees of exploitation, and bonds that are unshakable. Riedle, as the pivotal character, astutely captures the nuanced conflicts Angie is experiencing that Wesselow and Köhler’s characters’ counterbalance; all three deliver strong performances. Spengler’s small production team delivers a compelling film. Uli Friedrichs’ production design; cinematographer Falko Lachmund’s well-framed informative imagery; Linda Bosch and Gregory Schuchmann’s succinct, accomplished editing, and well-matched music by Marc Fragstein. “(I’m) back for good” – do people take that statement as a threat, or a promise? Back For Good premiered as the opening film for the Berlinale 2017s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section. 96 minutes (Marinell H.)

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