2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Moving, though somewhat flawed, wartime drama,
This review is from: Aimee And Jaguar (DVD)
Max Färberböck's first feature film is based upon Erica Fischer's book, chronicling the true story of Lilly Wust and Felice Schragenheim, and their lesbian affair in war torn Berlin.
Both Maria Schrader (playing Felice) and Juliane Köhler (Lilly) were born in 1965, so they would have been about 34 years old when making the film, which was right for Lilly, who was about 31 when the events took place, but wrong for Felice, who was only about 22. This is one reason why the dynamics of the relationship - the why and how of their falling so passionately in love - are never made clear. The performances are fine - that's not the problem - but in addition to losing that age difference, the film simply does not devote enough attention to tracing the genesis of the love between the two titular characters. We see it happening but are not given sufficient clues about why it is happening. Nonetheless, the story itself is extraordinary, and well worth telling.
If you are not familiar with the historical background, then you might well find the film confusing sometimes. The director seems to assume that many details, such as the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, which are central to the action, will be familiar to the viewer.
The cinematography is excellent. The Allied bombing raids, the quiet moments in the park, the erotic episodes are all strikingly well done. The film is visually compelling throughout.
The sense of place and the atmosphere of wartime Berlin are very strong. As might be expected, there is meticulous attention to period detail.
Despite the caveats mentioned above, this is a very fine film and is recommended. The extras on this DVD include actual photographs of Lilly and Felice, taken on occasions that are featured in the film. To look at those pictures after seeing the film is a profoundly moving experience.