Before going to Berlin on Erasmus, the future seemed very clear to Júlia, a 21-year-old architecture student. Once there, completely alone for the first time, she realizes that she does not know herself as well as she thought, and that she has no idea what she wants to do.
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Interesting to watch this after the Emigholz and Schanelec mini-festivals. Perfect still choice for the film listing here! That quiet moment of ease and awakening was a great moment in the film, and a core moment in the flickering of adulthood and increasing knowledge of the self. Matches the title. Her first moment of being.
Considering that Europe is experiencing the tragic plight of migration, a film about a privileged, middle-class Spanish exchange student struggling to fit in Berlin feels almost offensive. It does not help that Martin's story is banal and predictable. The architectural trope is underdeveloped: Julia Ist is not Kagonada's Columbus. The social and political contexts remain unaddressed as well. In short, immature.
I feel like this had so much unexplored potential. The entire last third of the film is where my biggest dissatisfactions lie, as the film quickly loses all sense of direction, purpose, and depth. Ironically, this prevented me from continuing to empathize with the character's feelings of loss of direction and purpose. Overall, there's still enough good here to make it worth watching, but definitely has its flaws.
2.5, bumped to 3 because of the quality acting and directing. The subject matter, however, is lackluster, and just when you think the characters are about to be given some depth, there's a disappointing jump-cut to the end.
A must see for any non German living, lived or planning to live in the German speaking world. Captured my experience as a foreigner in Austria exactly! Conveys the humor, social situations, complicated men, and loneliness of the German city auras as well as its contagiousness. Weird color grading at times, but other than that, just great!
The subject matter, as another commenter put it, is banal. Everything else - a good performance, sharp cinematography and a script that is well constructed in a technical sense - really seems extraneous to the fundamental banality of it.
It's not "that" bad, I liked the rhythm and the fluid intimacy of the camera. There's nothing bore and wrong about storytelling an ordinary life, but in this case it's boring and boring in an ordinary way, which completely justifies the movie itself, like a party in the jungle, when no one has nothing to say, but feel.