Which film did you judge completely wrong

TV movie "Half an eternity"

Rainer Tittelbach
In 1958 it was great love, but an intrigue divided the young couple. He discovers freedom, she loves God. Can there be a future together for the sick ex-roadie and the nun? The imagined starting situation with (psycho) logical imbalance is one thing, the multitude of deeply moving, wonderfully played & staged scenes from which a feeling of great truthfulness develops, is the other. Very strong: Froeboess, Habich, Peter Franke and Anna Maria Sturm.

Photo: Degeto / Christine Schröder

One of the many "best moments" from which the film gets its truth.

Like two cowboys, Harry and Paul “ride” into the north German province on their heavy motorcycles. More than 50 years ago, after the legendary Bill Haley concert in Hamburg, which broke many things, they decided to leave their homeland. Freedom! Out of the musty 50s, overseas, a life for rock music, a life as a roadie. Back then, not only did the chairs in the concert hall break, the relationship between Harry and his Elly also broke. Now they see each other again for the first time since that fateful year 1958. And Harry is amazed when he finds the former tomboy again as "Sister Elisabeth", a Protestant religious woman. God is her man. Harry was never married either. The street was his home. Both are struggling with the situation. Elisabeth stands completely beside her - and Harry has pain in his stomach. Both have to recognize that they misjudged the situation at the time. The pain over the lover who ran away and the severe disappointment over the lover who left all his letters unanswered is due to a third party: the false friend Fred. He was supposed to play the Postillon d’Amour. But it didn't.

Photo: Degeto / Christine Schröder

The young sister Hilde (Anna Maria Sturm) has found her way to God.

One should not try too hard to tap into this action according to (psycho) logical criteria. And certainly not come with "credibility". “Half an Eternity” establishes a biographical and socio-psychological framework in order to set an “inner” story in motion that tells of what has remained unlived in two lives. “Can the community be a mere substitute for what is missing in life?” Sister Elisabeth asks young Sister Hilde, who is about to be “consecrated”, and it is a question that she asks herself. This scene rich in projections in the monastery garden between the main actress Cornelia Froboess and Anna Maria Sturm is one of the many intensely and nuanced, deeply moving situations of this extraordinary ARD Friday film. “Half an Eternity”, like any good television film, is a game of possibilities. The plausibility of the whole thing arises from those scenes which, due to their accuracy, have a far greater truthfulness than the somewhat thought-out initial plot. Habich grunts, Froboess whispers and you often hear the birds chirping in the background. Cinematographer Klaus Merkel knows what to do with the place of worship, which he mostly visualises as fresh as summer (Sturm's young sister is a symbol of this attitude) and only with regard to the heroine in a Protestant self-mortifying way.

Photo: Degeto / Christine Schröder

Old wounds break open. And everyone is standing next to each other. Froboess, Hamel & Habich

The innumerable “best moments” of this Degeto melodrama by “Emotional Director” Matthias Tiefenbacher (“Her Father's House”) find the right tone between sense and sensuality. The scene in the car junkyard, for example. Or the sleepless-in-the-chapel scene between the couple who are slow to find each other. The trip to the lake, which culminates in a Super 8 film screening, was also wonderful: the two of them, in 1958, also at the lake, a look, a blink, a kiss. Love can be so beautiful. And so moving a film moment (in which so much more is contained than in a conventional flashback). Author and producer Volker Krappen had a lucky hand in every respect with the film. The perfect cast, the right director - and the end can be discussed ... Death? Second separation? Or will Harry and Elly end up playing Harry and Sally?

Photo: Degeto / Christine Schröder

Will it be their last motorcycle ride together? Froboess and Habich

Rainer Tittelbach works as a TV critic & media journalist. He was a Grimme juror for 25 years, is an FSF examiner and has been operating since 2009 tittelbach.tv. More


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"Half an eternity"
Degeto / Film for TV / Melodrama, Drama
EA: March 30, 2012, 8.15 p.m. (ARD)
With Cornelia Froboess, Matthias Habich, Peter Franke, Anna Maria Sturm, Lambert Hamel, Ulrike Grote, Elisabeth Schwarz and Liv Lisa Fries
Script: Volker Krappen
Director: Matthias Tiefenbacher
Camera: Klaus Merkel
Editing: Dagmar Pohle
Production company: Krebs & Krappen
Quota: 4.26 million viewers (13.8% MA)


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