Meerapfel's first feature is a meandering but delicately engaging study of belonging and female self-discovery. The plot is deliberately simple, indeed almost non-existent. Spurred by the unearthing of certain glittering family heirlooms, a woman seeks out her family past. This device is used to create a tandem narrative, with her story of present marital uncertainty being set alongside the previous tragedy of her mother, Malou. Born around the turn of the century, Malou led a life entirely defined by men. When her husband leaves her, she is left without identity and even nationality, adrift in a strange country. With a hypnotic central performance from Dietrich lookalike Caven as the mother, Meerapfel's film makes its feminist points in ambiguous, even teasing fashion, and moves easily to a conclusion neatly poised between liberation and alienation.
Cast and crew