While You Are Here | Chicago Reader

While You Are Here

This sensitive 2006 portrait of a lonely old man and a young hustler is better than it sounds. Staying mostly within the man's house, director Stefan Westerwelle focuses on quiet moments: the man trying to repair a broken bowl, the hustler taking a bath alone, the man showing the kid his old photos by flashlight. Both characters are given equal depth, and both seem to be struggling for understanding and intimacy. But the cinematography and direction, while skillful and emotionally effective, never rise to the level needed to make this nicely understated film truly soar—Westerwelle isn't yet Robert Bresson. In German with subtitles. 78 min.


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