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Pool of Princesses

Director: Bettina Blumner

GERMANY| 2007. SUBTITLED. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 90 MIN.


Director Bettina Blumner’s superb Pool of Princesses runs rings around most current documentaries as it coolly and patiently observes the lives of three 15-year-old girls living in Berlin’s multicultural Kreuzberg district. The original German title puns on Berlin’s popular public pool, Prinzenbad, where teens Klara, Tanutscha and Mina are first seen frolicking in the water.

The three girls are all children of divorced, proudly permissive parents. Wisely, Blumner never comments on these parents’ choices and values, instead showing how the kids live in single-parent homes with maximum freedom. It’s not all fun and games, much as a seemingly wild girl like Klara might want it to be. Tanutscha, who talks tough but reveals a softer personality underneath, has cut all ties with her Iranian-born father but remains close to her German-born mom. Neither has the kind of steady beau Mina can claim in sweet-natured George-Daniel. Pointedly, this beautifully observed film leaves us with lingering questions about its subjects’ future prospects.

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