Atemnot (1984)

Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Austria  |  
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A sophisticated manipulation of the auteur style of Michelangelo Antonioni characterizes this story of two people who do not seem able to fully communicate, a story told in images and frames, and unresolved at the end - if there ever were anything to resolve in the first place. The wealthy Tina (Henrietta Cejpek) and working-class Gerhard (Johannes Silberschneider) have been put into a psychiatric clinic by their well-intentioned parents because each had attempted suicide. It does not take long for an attraction to arise between them, and they have one clandestine meeting, as well as a sensuous swim in the pool - but are not interested in carrying their physical relationship any further. When Tina and Gerhard are released to go home, they join up with a group of people occupying condemned houses, and in that symbolic environment, the two are more at ease with the world and themselves than before. The theme of alienation runs throughout this film, just as in Antonioni's work, but seems to have no real source, no clear cause. That is also the case with Tina and Gerhard, as the events in their lives continue to unfold and further distance them from society.

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Keywords

alienation, angst, committed-relationship, communication, love, suicide, suicide-attempt, teenagers