Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Das Fräulein (2006)

Three women’s lives intersect at a cafeteria in Zurich. Each of a different generation, each harboring a struggle. When Ana (Marija Skaricic) is dropped off at a bus station, she packs her bag in a locker and takes up with strangers. She wakes up in bed with a man and a woman, just one in a series of one-night stands she engages in, providing her a place to crash. The next morning, she goes to the cafeteria down the road. When cafeteria worker Mila (Ljubica Jovic)cuts her finger, Ana steps in to help dress her wound and relieves Mila Surprise!with serving up the food for the customers. Boss Ruza (Mirjana Karanovic) is a hard-nosed manager who runs a tight ship and has no tolerance for deviations or fun. When Ana takes a job there, she soon learns that her missteps toward lightness are quashed by Ruza. Until Ana throws her a birthday party and Ruza’s guard begins chipping away. Through Ana’s actions, Ruza begins to be a picture of her old self…the one that enjoyed herself and possessed hope. Mila has worked at the cafeteria with Ruza since the start, but Ruza makes it clear she’s merely hired help, not a friend. Mila’s husband is soon to retire and they want to build their dream home back in former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia is what connects them—the three women are transplant from the former republic. Their similar struggles end up bringing them closer but in the end, their fears of letting people get too close prove too strong for change. Poignant.

Director: Andrea Staka

Country: Switzerland/Germany

Genre: Drama

Run time: 81 minutes

Scale: 5

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