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DRIFTER

Director: SEBASTIAN HEIDINGER

GERMANY • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR 35MM • 82 MIN


Aileen (16), Angel (23) and Daniel (25) have escaped the constraints of their families and their villages in search of the anonymity of the big city of Berlin. Their stomping ground is Zoo railway station and its environs. This is where they prostitute themselves in order to earn money for their drug addiction.

In this sober and timely documentary study, director Sebastian Heidinger lets his young protagonists act freely in front of the camera, without any commentary or analysis from him. Instead of underlining the tragedy of prostitution, Drifter reveals the bizarre side of everyday life in the age of globalisation where foreign competitors ruin prices by undercharging. At the end of the film, when a jaundice-stricken Aileen is sitting on the train on the way back to her village, we look out through the train window onto the fields of Brandenburg; those wintry meadows crystallise Aileen’s emotions into a single image of a dismal reality and a future that appears no less bleak.

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