Our Rating: ★★½☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: This German film centers around three women, all of them lonely, going nowhere, with nowhere to go.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2005
Duration: 85 min
Language: Germany, France/German
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Christian Petzold
Writer: Harun Farocki, Christian Petzold
Starring: Julia Hummer, Sabine Timoteo, Marianne Basler

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Gespenster

This German film centers around three women, all of them lonely, going nowhere, with nowhere to go. ‘Gespenster’ means ghost, aptly describing each of them as they move through the world.

Nina (Julia Hummer) is a rather simple teen orphan who lives in a group home and works picking up trash in the park. One day she watches another young woman as she is robbed, curious but doing nothing. Nina seems to have a blank heart, not being moved, until she finally helps Toni (Sabine Timoteo) after the fact.

Toni is very unlike Nina. It’s apparent that she is a scammer, and she finds in Nina someone who clings to any attention. To pull Nina closer, Toni kisses her with the promise of more, but not surprisingly, soon after they sleep together, Toni will betray her in another opportunistic move.

Francoise (Marianne Basler), the other woman in the story, desperately searches for the daughter who was kidnapped many years ago, convincing herself that Nina is that daughter. Pain and confusion has dominated her life for years and years.

The film is about people with giant holes in their lives, waiting for something. Heavy on dialog and very slow moving, I found it tough to watch. (AB)