Sommer vorm Balkon 2005
1h 47m | Drama | 5 January 2006 (Germany)
A tragicomic movie which focuses on two women and their daily struggle for survival during a summer in Berlin. Katrin, a jobless single mom, and Nike, a nurse, live in the same house and are best friends. Although always dating the wrong men and still pursuing for happiness, they don’t lose their humor and spend many nights together on Nike’s balcony, drinking and chatting. However, Nike gets to know the trucker Ronald one day…
Though I’ve been watching films all my life and have been active on IMDb for nearly a decade, I never bothered to write an official user review. Up until today. (Well, duh, or you wouldn’t be reading this.) With just three reviews in nearly ten years, this film seems to be greatly overlooked as well as under-appreciated. Which is a pity, as it conveys so much in such an understated way.
First of all, several establishing shots of the town it’s set in -Berlin- are not only beautiful, but will also put a smile on the faces of everyone who, like Marlene Dietrich, loves the city.
Next, the film wonderfully shows average life – it does not pretend to have a blockbuster-type script. There are no spies, murderers or explosions. There are just normal folks with normal, rather dreary lives, with quite average problems, jobs and so forth. The way in which Nadja Uhl’s job -homecare of senior citizens- is depicted, is respectful and loving. Like so many aspects of this movie, this depiction closely resembles real life. And the romance she ensues makes you scream at the screen: stop that, he’s bad for you, a lot like what happens a lot in real life as well – regardless of gender.
Also realistic is the way the movie conveys the desperation of Inka Friedrich, a single mom who has trouble finding any sort of reliable job and too little money to adequately take care of her son. Again, many people from all the seven continents will be able to empathize with or recognize her situation.
Then there’s the great use of music to establish the location, namely Germany: many typical ‘schlager’ songs are featured and the use of Nana Mouskouri’s ‘Guten Morgen Sonnenschein’ is not only very clever, but also ensures that particular (very catchy) song to be stuck in your head for days to come.
To save the best for last: Nadja Uhl. This great actress, also known for her roles in De Tweeling, Dschungelkind, Die Stille nach dem Schuß and Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, might be the prettiest woman and one of the very best actresses ever to have been ‘Made in Germany’. Unfortunately, both her looks and skills have been criminally undervalued internationally. Luckily, there are films like Sommer vorm Balkon, in which we get to see her shine like only few actresses can.
While the film might have its faults, much like nearly every other film does, the combination of its honest script, great use of music, Berlinesque setting and great acting -as said, in particular Mrs. Uhl- make it very worthwhile.
Director: Andreas Dresen
Writer: Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Stars: Inka Friedrich, Nadja Uhl, Andreas Schmidt
Country of origin: Germany
Also known as: Summer in Berlin
Filming locations: Berlin, Germany
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
File size : 1.37 GiB
Duration : 1 h 45 min
Overall bit rate : 1 847 kb/s
Links: iMDB | NFO | Screenshots backup