Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
A single unanswered question causes an enormous amount of suffering in a young boy's heart in this sensitively rendered Swiss drama that chronicles the troubled 14-year old's attempt to deal with this question, his changing body, and issues of life and death. The question concerns the mysterious circumstances of the young man's father. His mother tells him nothing and busies herself with her new lover, whom the boy resents. Michi is further confused by his burgeoning, and disturbing feelings for his older sister. Unable to cope with his emotional tumult, Michi cuts the brakes on his bicycle and tries to kill himself on a steep hill. He nearly succeeds and soon afterwards, his mother sends him to Catholic boarding school where things get even worse. His only friend there is the liberal Father Lorenz. Eventually, he also meets Marenka, a pretty young kitchen hand with whom he falls in love. Still these two islands of humanity are not enough for Michi and he has frequent nervous outbursts that get him sent to the infirmary. While there, he sees Father Lorenz using drugs. The priest is a long-time addict and as time passes is unable to conceal his problems. The school administrators decide to send him to rehab, but the distraught Lorenz ends up hanging himself in a nearby forest. Unfortunately, it is Michi who finds him. Later the administrators force him to remain silent. Michi tries to run away, fails, and ends up sleeping with Marenka. The lovers are discovered and his mother is called to the school. Upon her arrival, Michi tells what he has seen. This finally causes his mother to tell him the heartbreaking truth about his father's death.
adolescence, boarding-school, coming-of-age, father, lover, mother, priest, suicide-attempt