Longing | Chicago Reader

Longing

Few recent films have left me feeling more conflicted than Valeska Grisebach's second feature (2006), which is sensitive, moving, accomplished in its extraordinary direction of nonprofessional actors but also a little bogus. A gentle, happily married metalworker in a tiny village goes away for a weekend to train as a volunteer fireman and has a drunken fling with a waitress, which leads to tragic consequences. The most telling points in this story register in the faces rather than the dialogue, but it's conceived like a folk ballad and feels self-conscious in some of its plot developments and in its neo-Brechtian finale. In German with subtitles. 88 min.

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