Das Zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages (The Second Awakening of Christa Klages) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Das Zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages (The Second Awakening of Christa Klages) Reviews

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April 14, 2008
Margarethe von Trotta's solo directorial debut is lightyears away from her work with Volker Schlöndorff on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum and also her next film, Sisters, or the Balance of Happiness. Technically, it's more raw with less sophisticated lighting. With its writing and acting, its far less nuanced and detailed. Politically, von Trotta goes for the throat with the feminist material, but it seems much less thought out and more obvious. The plot concerns the title character who, along with her boyfriend Werner and friend Wolfgang (the same two central male names in Marianne and Juliane interestingly enough), rob a bank to fund a flagging experimental kindergarten that's catching on. They first seek shelter with a questionably lapsed priest before going further on the run to Christa's ex-girlfriend Ingrid. As a title character, Christa never manages to garner much interest or engagement, often turning into a mouthpiece for feminist concerns. This isn't a problem or issue in and of itself, but the character simply resorts to attempts at shock in order to make political points. This results in cringeworthily silly moments such as her revealing to the priest that she used to masturbate during sermons. Sure, it's good for a laugh, but where's the substance? However, the female bonding is alive and well here and done with a pretty good deal of sophistication. The two male leads, Werner and Father Graves, are both pretty interesting, enough so to keep the segments involving them interesting. But for all the things it does right, the narrative's pacing flags up again and again, not doing anything meaningful for the narrative but hindering it. In retrospect, the two women fleeing to Portugal makes for some great material, but it's a ten minute sequence that is positioned right between the second and third acts. You can't really get into it because it's too short to be very meaningful on its own (it really sheds little new light on the women's relationship), and its position derails what is actually a pretty powerful and abrupt ending. Von Trotta would go on to be one of the best directors of the New German Cinema with Sisters and Marianne and Juliane, and although I'd keep myself from saying that this is a total loss except for its picture of a developing director, it's close enough for me to qualify it that way. *** out've *****
September 27, 2007
An interesting story of female friendship in the face of difficult circumstances.
July 14, 2007
This drama about an everyday schoolteacher-turned-fugitive is a grim and bleak affair, but the understated, quietly compelling performance of the titular actress is Top Notch Burgers.
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