When her father (Birol Ünel – arguably the gruffest presence in cinema today) is released from prison, young Stevie becomes a detainee within the confines of her own family who, unluckily for her, have selected a rural squat overrun with transients, gypsies and drifters as their smack-strewn stomping ground. As a disjointed memory scrapbook of growing up in hippy hell, the film works well enough, with first-time director Marais intent on leaving questions unanswered and keeping context to an absolute minimum. It’s also severely lacking in focus, with three diffuse, unlovable and, in the end, indecipherable central characters who offer as little connection to each other as they do to a potential audience. The title – translated from Geman as ‘unruly children’ – offers a neat double entendre, as Marais is obviously sticking it to the unchecked boisterousness of both the young and the old characters in the film, although the English title probably offers a better appraisal of the work as a whole.
Cast and crew