As We Were Dreaming
When watching As We Were Dreaming, you may well be reminded of someone you went to school with, since more or less every class has one: the boy who really wants to be hard, and wears his school shirt untucked just to prove it, but never quite convinces you he is as tough as he thinks.
Andreas Dresen’s new film follows a band of aspiring rapscallions in their late adolescence as they joyride, party and loot their way through a post-Berlin Wall Leipzig. The story sees the boys roam without direction around the city, trying to become underground nightclub proprietors here and fighting off neo-Nazi thugs there.
With the basis for the film coming from the Clemens Meyer novel of the same name, it certainly promises something, and performances from actors such as Merlin Rose go some way towards delivering. Unfortunately, however, the story aims for a grittiness that never quite arrives and the potential for a raw presentation of directionless youth descends into anaemic parody.
This is partly because the narrative feels disjointed, appearing more as a collection of incidents than as a coherent vision of the boys’ lives, and not helped by glaring chapter headings that split up the action every 20 minutes or so. Even themes such as death and neo-fascism come out hollow as there just isn’t enough on screen that invites the audience to invest emotionally.
Given the value of the book and the social complications of a newly reunified Germany, it may well have a certain resonance with a domestic audience, though achieving that abroad may be a difficult task.
As We Were Dreaming does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more of our reviews from festival here.
For further information about Berlin Film Festival 2015 visit here.
Watch the trailer for As We Were Dreaming here: