Das Fräulein (Fraulein) (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Das Fräulein (Fraulein) (2008)

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Writer/director Andrea Staka's Das Fräulein paints an exceptionally sensitive, multilayered, and richly textured portrait of a blossoming friendship between two adult women. Mirjana Karanovic is Ruza, a Slavic émigré in her fifties, who years ago transplanted herself from her native Serbia to Zurich, Switzerland. Quiet, introverted, and stoic, she runs a canteen business in the city and trusts absolutely no one, building her life exclusively around income. She and her Croatian associate, Mila (Ljubica Jovic), are confronted with the sudden arrival of Ana (Marija Skaricic), a much younger Bosnian drifter, who enchants Ruza with her fresh spontaneity and zest for life, but still draws some coldness from the Serbian woman. Despite a shared ethnic background, Ruza initially insists on communicating with Ana in German and scarcely acknowledges their common cultural identity. Nonetheless, in time, barriers begin to recede, and a tenuous, delicate bond of friendship forms between the two women. Staka uses the bulk of the drama to explore this relationship in all of its nuances and complexities, conveying the women's inner emotional landscapes with an intelligent use of cinematic language and visual flourishes. Instead of simply using Zurich as a backdrop, Staka employs the city -- both cosmopolitan and yet somewhat distancing -- as one of the story's central characters.

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Critic Reviews for Das Fräulein (Fraulein)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

The film dwells on different ways of coming to terms with a traumatic past, and it's clearly a subject dear to the heart of director Andrea Staka, who grew up in Switzerland but is of Bosnian and Croatian heritage.

October 24, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Presents immigrant lives with significantly more empathy than detail.

September 19, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/5

Stylized with a recurring misty focus, the film's economically captured detail shots (gestures, expressions, caught moments) convey genuine sensitivity without the expected weepiness.

September 17, 2008 | Full Review…

Sensitively drawn and lensed with special attention to characterization and tone, Andrea Staka's Golden Leopard winner Fraulein introduces a strong new voice in Swiss cinema.

June 6, 2008 | Full Review…

Refreshingly and sympathetically about women deciding to live in Switzerland as émigré, exile, immigrant, or refugee from Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists.

November 1, 2008 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Murky drama about three displaced immigrant women with deep emotional scars ...

October 23, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Das Fräulein (Fraulein)

½

Touching moments,fierce reality but what struck me most is the short amount of time and the debut whistle.While it's certainly not a groundbreaking film,it's basically a great introduction to one's ideas on film-making and a fabulous start for Staka.Karanovic amidst the top 5 actresses of 2006.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

In a Zurich restaurant, Ana(Marija Skaricic), a new employee, is warned against throwing a surprise party for her boss Ruza(Mirjana Karanovic), who is old enough to be her mother. She goes ahead anyway. What separates "Fraulein" from every other touchy-feely intergenerational friendship story are events that are not shown in the movie. All of the major characters are from Bosnia but have all had different experiences acclimating themselves to their new home. Ruza and Mila(Ljubica Jovic) left long before the recent genocide to make better lives for themselves abroad. No nonsense and lonely, Ruza is so used to living in Switzerland, that she uses German when speaking to her fellow Bosnians.(Thanks for pointing that out by the way.) Now that it is safe to return home, Mila and her husband(Zdenko Jelcic) have one eye on returning to their homeland and are saving up to make repairs on their house. Into this mix, enters Ana who survived the Siege of Sarajevo, as many of her friends and family did not, only to badly require a bone marrow transplant in the present.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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