Taboos ’n’ tattoos… Three old gents get their love of epidermal doodles off their extensively inky chests as they remember ’60s Hamburg, first encounters with the needle, personal sorrows, a feud, old age and social prejudice. And more. One reckons each tat is ‘connected to a memory’; another can’t recall exactly how many female forms adorn his hide (nor what’s on his back). Co-director Ruts has the skin-tincturing skills himself, which must have helped win the trust of his subjects; still, it’s the apparent lack of an authorial hand that makes this melancholy investigation of mortality – ink or no ink, you rarely see this much aged flesh on screen – such a winning piece of anthropology.
Andrea Schuler, Oliver Ruts