Crumble cherry or tangerine quark? This is the crucial question. In Berlin, Clara is doing her Ph.D. on Hegel’s concept of freedom. But in her mother’s kitchen, far away in the flat countryside of the eastern German provinces, things were quite different. What a bread cake. Are you stuck in traffic? Or what the weather report says for tomorrow. All those harmless trifles that people talk about to say something, even when they don’t have anything to say to each other. Or rather, the unwillingness to get to the sore points, fears, feelings, or what you really want for life. “Why is everyone just talking and never communicating here,” Clara once stated.
In her social portrait Everybody Talks About the Weather, director Annika Pinske takes a nuanced look at the differences between the young woman who has managed to build a self-made life in Berlin between academic ambitions, vast, non-committal apartment share and obliging affairs, and the mother who has fallen behind. Clara (played by Anne Schaeffer in a wonderfully intricate way) is in her late thirties and has come from Berlin with her 15-year-old daughter Emma to celebrate her mother’s 60th birthday, Inge (Anne-Catherine Gomic).
The provinces are not easy places – but Berlin of course is not salvation either
The chasm separating these two worlds seems insurmountable. Like other borders, a new German internal border. On the one hand, the urban educated middle class, in which Clara made her way, and on the other, the proletarian rural environment of her childhood, in which the post-unification period left many gaps and ruptures. Annika Pinske has a good sense of meticulously tracking the silence that spread between the two women in short dialogues. Once, getting ready for the big party, Clara pushes a cart through the village store and asks, “No, seriously, tell me three things you want before you turn 70.” But Angie, walking briskly and firmly through the aisles with the shopping list, waves her hand: “Now stop asking, I want to finish here today.”
Annika Pinsek knows exactly what you’re talking about. It also originated in the province of East Germany. I also studied philosophy. The so-called educational advancement. Later she worked as a personal assistant to director Marin Addy. Her thesis at the German Academy of Film and Television in Berlin (DFFB) “Everyone talks about the weather”. For the first time in a feature film, her work had a clearly prominent actor (Sandra Holler as a university lecturer, Ronald Zerfeld as the father of their daughter Max Rimmelt as young love).
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“Everybody Talks About the Weather” is an intimate portrait of two women, a mother and daughter, bound in love, separated by an inability to speak to each other. And a clever social drama about homeland and origins, about post-reunification traumas and milieus from which one can break free, but not completely get rid of. Both women are fighting their own battles. It’s not all rosy in Clara’s daily life as a doctoral student in Berlin, which defines the first half of the film. The college hamster wheel is boring. A false friendship with her supervisor Dr. Margot, who is supportive but more than difficult as a person, is a violation. And academic power structures are riddled with discrimination based on gender and class.
Basically, everyone in this movie cracks jokes, suffocating humanities as well as village types with their stupid women joke. Clara’s free-living model soon develops its own tiny incisions. What if it ends up not fitting anywhere? When Angie finally gives her daughter a farewell word, it still sounds tiny, but it’s also a little tender: “Swipe well!”
Everyone talks about the weatherGermany 2022 – Director and Screenplay: Annika Pinske. Camera: Ben Bernhard. Editor: Laura Lausemis. With: Anne Schaeffer, Anne-Catherine Gumich, Emma Frieda Bruegler, Judith Hoffmann, Ronald Zerfeld, Max Rimmelt, Sandra Holler. Big movie, 89 min. Theatrical release: September 15, 2022.