Written and directed by Nicolas Flessa, this spirited take on the ménage à trois scenario plays with the viewer, knowledgeable of events that only become apparent to the players, many a reel in.
And it all centres around Jana; a thirty-something social worker who yearns for a husband, a house and a child, but instead finds herself locked in an unfulfilling relationship with David; a lecturer who more often than not hasn’t got the time of day for her, forcing Jana to turn to her Turkish friend Nazim for moral support and a lot more besides. Not that David is staying faithful to his loved one, being only too keen to satisfy his homosexual calling in the arms of another man. Only what’s a bisexual boy to do, when his bit of rough turns out to be his partners’ Turkish delight?
Clearly made on a limited and here think non-existent budget that aptly reflects the graffiti ghetto decay of its Berlin-Neukölln setting and complete with a soundtrack that surprisingly mixes the vocals of Kitty Solaris with JS Bach’s moving aria Erbarme dich, mein Gott, this gritty outing of the who’s cheating on who theme is as much a delight, as it is flawed. For this in many ways, would have worked better as a film short, given a number of scenes are clearly padding, whilst others suffer from poor camera work. Yet this remains a remarkable achievement for Flessa, given he delivered the celluloid goods devoid of any financial resources, having relied solely on the generosity of sponsors and a cast who filmed their scenes at night / weekends, outside of their regular work.
To that end and in as much as Beba Ebner as Jana and Florian Sonnefeld as David head this piece, it is Eralp Uzun as Nazim who forms its homoerotic backbone as a young German-Turk who when not masturbating the night away, is into drugs as a means of escaping the reality of his suppressed sexuality. That the closing reel includes a tender, if underdeveloped relationship between Nazim and his best friend Akin, shines the spotlight on what could be. As it stands however, the solace that Nazim takes in their friendship, speaks of the difficulties that many an immigrant faces in being at ease with their homosexual self. Then again, this is a work in which all three characters have problems in being straight with the desires of their heart, if not their ethnic background. Interestingly, Flessa’s follow on piece Ich Lieb Dich Nicht Wenn Du Mich Liebst - If I Find You There marked yet another variant of the cinematic love triangle, but more on that delightful short later.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - strictly from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3 stars.