Neanderthal (2007)

Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - Germany   |  
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Plenty of teenagers have to deal with bad skin, but one guy is cursed with something worse than acne in this independent coming of age drama. Guido (Jacob Matschenz) is a teenage boy growing up in Germany's Neander Valley, which is famous as the place where the first evidence of the Neanderthal Man was discovered. Guido wants nothing more than to be an ordinary kid who doesn't stand out, but he suffers from a severe case of neurodermatitis, and his irritated skin makes him painfully visible in a crowd. Outcast Guido falls in with a pack of party animals and starts drinking heavily, but when his skin responds badly to his beer swilling, Guido is forced to become a straight arrow. Tired of his schoolmates, Guido begins hanging out with his older brother Martin (Tim Egloff), a slacker who lives with his delinquent pal Rudi (Andreas Schmidt), and Guido makes Rudi his new role model when he learns his father (Falk Rockstroh) has been having an affair with the woman next door. Guido's skin miraculously clears up and he finally is able to win a girlfriend, Katrin (Luana Bellinghausen), but while his love life has improved, he still doesn't know what to do about his troubled relationship with his folks, or their failing relationship with one another. Neanderthal was screened in competition at the 2007 Turin Film Festival.