A good indication of Petzold's early promise. The film is a finely detailed account of being dependent on feckless individuals who are themselves trapped in a hopeless cycle of crime. Finely calibrated, with great performances, particularly from the young Julia Hummer, The State I Am In is strong enough to carry the sometimes perfunctory plotting. A good film.
'The State I Am In' has the impossible idea of combining a coming-of-age romance with a heist film, yet the impossible becomes the expected when it turns out that--in both--nothing lasts and betrayal is the only constant. Here, the impermanence of everything becomes the weapon of the State, which welcomes each individual mistake with a sort of sadistic silence while burying its own mistakes until forgotten, passé
"How can we hang on to a dream?" How can we hang on to the dream of an E.U. that like the 15-year old Jeanne oscillates between her attachment to the burdened past she inherited, her still unformed, independent identity and her flirtations with the utopic "Endless Summer" of the U.S. Farocki's script, brilliant as always, exposes the multicultural and simultaneously unwelcome, jingoistic nature of a pubescent Europe.
Saw this in a New German Cinema series a while back and it's vaguer about what's up with the couple on the run than I remembered--they seem merely criminals rather than ex-terrorists (as most plot summaries claim). It's great at making you feel unsettled and paranoid (the four-way stop scene is killer). Not sure how to interpret the reminders of Nazism sprinkled throughout. Slightly muffed ending, but otherwise good.
"...precise and unforgiving in its exploration of warped family life, and its focus on an unhappy teen makes an interesting metaphor (with that double-meaning title) for the nation's growing pains. What makes the film hard going, however, is the way it asks us to spend 100 minutes in the company of such resolutely unlikable individuals".
What could be worse than a teenage girl going through her most turbulent years? Maybe if she was going through them while her parents need to avoid authorities and live anonymous lives. That's the interesting spin given to familiar material here, and it works well.
Amazing coming-of-age story. It's not about the mystery of the parents' crime as much as it is about the young girl's realization of self. Her discovery of what's important and what she believes, what she has to do to hold on to those beliefs and ultimately what kind of love is she willing to give (and to receive). It's so textured and intricate. I just love it.
Jeanne's parents, as criminals, are used to be escaping not just from their felonious actions, but from their past too. Jeanne, on her side, keeps escaping from the anti-educative present they are forcing her into. At the same time, she is found running away from a clearly premature love. Christian Petzold's film assumes both political and psychological tones, portraying such act of escaping in a rather poetic way.
Petzold's film is a raw look into the life of the child of criminals and the personal struggles that come with it. It brings emotions to the surface that any viewer can connect to -- longing, first heartbreak, and the pains of growing up -- but presents these relatable experiences in a new way hardly ever represented. The cast is believable and genuine. They work together to create true dynamics you get invested in.
A refreshing tale of survival with some clever values and minimal violence. Although 'The State I am In' still feels like a TV film, parts are compariable to a mature 'Léon' which really makes it work. Some odd or missing subtitles in French, but otherwise very engaging and edited ever-so precisely.
Petzold delivers his first feature proper in such a way as to demonstrate great mastery of craft without particularly courting fanfare. It shows his strength and confidence. But also foregrounds the fundamental weakness that cannot help but call attention to itself: though the film is commendably shot and cut, its cold precision is also married to a story and characters that feel inert. Nice ending, though.
This film gives me the romance of romeo and Juliet mixed with bonnie and clyde. The film shows a family who has no choice but to be on the run due to actions of the parents years way back. Jeanne who is the teenager is stuck in the middle of a revolution, she is very talented and knows many languages but she has no way to showcase her talent because she has an inner conflict with loyalty towards her parents or love .
Naturalistic with an unusual and haunting sense of place. Short on plot but then I wonder if we're supposed to be sharing the child's suspended immersion in a world she only understands in fragments. A world of shut doors and withheld normality. First film I've seen by this director and will be seeking our more.