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THE STRANGER IN ME

Director: EMILY ATEF

GERMANY • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 99 MIN


Lead actress Susanne Wolf will be present for a Q&A following the screening.Premiered to considerable acclaim at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, director Emily Atef’s second feature (after the recent Molly’s Way) tackles one of the most powerful surviving social taboos: a mother’s rejection of her new-born baby. A finely-structured script of surprising thematic depth, a sure feel for cinematic composition and, above all, a magnetic central performance by Susanne Wolff make us sympathise with a character whose behaviour might otherwise seem repellent.

Rebecca (Wolff) and Julian (Johann von Bulow) are joyfully expecting their first child. But as soon as the baby is delivered, Rebecca feels an inexplicable fear and helplessness in the presence of this tiny being that needs her. She falls into a deep crisis and realises she is becoming a threat to her child. Yet the film is not merely a descent into despair; the second half is about a difficult healing process and the way it can be blocked by society’s readiness to brand the uncaring mother as a monster.

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