Love: when you kick it. At least that’s how it was with Angelina and Eric, snuggling together and letting him sleep first – then giving him a little kick to get away from him. This way you can fall asleep too. Once he noticed it and asked indignantly why he was kicking. Then she said, “Sorry, I thought you were already asleep.” Eric Bremer recounts this special episode of love in his documentary Who We’ll Be. It should show how intimate Angelina and he are, how well they get along with each other – and how confrontational they are. they were? Yes, unfortunately: Eric and Angelina, who everyone called Angie, were brutally separated from each other, she died in a car accident at the age of 29. It was March 2019, he was sitting on the passenger side and survived serious injuries. When he was released from the hospital weeks later, he did what most bereaved families do: collect and save photos, videos, text and audio messages from them. “Simply with the aim that nothing is lost,” he says in an interview in the inner courtyard of the Munich University of Television and Film (HFF).
Here Eric Bremer studied directing, here he prepared his first feature film “La Palma” while he was still studying. It’s about an intimate couple who are well trained and confrontational. Angie was furious when she saw him, and introduced herself in the details, he admits. However, he assured her that it was not about her, but about relationships in general. La Palma premiered in January 2019 at the Max Ophüls Film Festival in Saarbrücken, and the incident happened a few weeks later. “After that, I didn’t really care about making films at first,” Bremer says in an interview, with Rain Clouds Gathering. He looks up at the sky, then at the weather app on his cell phone and keeps talking. The 34-year-old’s hair is longer than it did in the movie and now wears glasses. He speaks very calmly and meditates. One feels that he talked a lot about Angie’s death. He says he has had a lot of help from friends and family and in therapy sessions. However, he often felt left alone – he did not know how to go to mourn at all.
He read in books about several stages of grief that the deceased must go through in order to finally be able to let go of him. “But I didn’t feel like it at all,” he says, “I don’t want to leave Angie, it’s not possible.” For him, the film was a consolation and mourning. Initially, the Munich resident, who trained as a media designer at ZDF before studying HFF and has been editing documentaries and TV reports since then, created many of Angi’s audio and video documents. He says it was the first “real” relationship for both of them, which is why there is so much film and video material. “It was part of our dynamic relationship, Angie wanted to be photographed,” he says.
Work on the film, whose title refers to a quote by Roger Willemsen, also progressed dynamically, and he wanted to look at the present from the future. Bremer showed the first version to friends and HFF professor Karen Yurchik, who gave him advice, and over the course of two years a very complex movie was made. “Initially I wanted to focus on the moments when I fell in love with Angie, to give the viewer a chance to fall in love with her as well,” he says. This way you can better understand the loss.
He said once in the movie, at least in movie theaters that should work. Eric Bremer has already presented it at a number of festivals, and he says that people at the cinema always cry. But they will also feel the need to talk about their losses in discussions afterward. “As an individual grief, it’s also very similar in some phases,” he says. That is why the film needs the collective experience of cinema. In addition to being the director, producer, and hero of Who We Will Have been, he is also the distributor. It was in this role that he organized a cinematographic tour: he travels across the republic until mid-August, almost every day in a different city, in Stuttgart, Regensburg, Hof, Berlin or Munich. He says it will not be easy, but now he wants to reach a decent result. He wants to remember Angie and maybe help others. Recently received the Starter Film Award for the City of Munich; Angie would have been proud, he sure is.
“The worst that could happen has already happened.”
Meanwhile it started raining, the sky is dark gray. She goes to the film school lobby, where Eric Bremer talks about his setbacks and fears about opening up to the camera. Because of course he makes himself vulnerable. Not everyone will love the fact that he has a new girlfriend soon after the fatal accident. “Hey Angie, I just met someone,” he said once in the movie, addressing her directly repeatedly. He had become a different person in the past three years and had to build a new identity.
Today he is fine, he says. “The worst that could happen has already happened.” That’s why he didn’t care what people might think while he was working on the movie. In probably the most shocking scene, the screen turns black and you hear a voice message Bremer sent to Angie’s mother from the clinic. Not knowing then that his girlfriend had already died at the scene, he said, “Please don’t worry, everything will be fine.” He eventually said, “It was so cruel to hear: ‘I can’t leave it like that, I had to make something beautiful out of it.’” And this movie about love and death is beautiful, sad but not depressing—one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a role. cinema for a long time.
Who We Are, D 2021, Director: Eric Bremer, Cinema dates: www.wer-wir-gewesen-sein- Werden.de