Pool of Princesses - LA Film Festival (June 28, 2007)
Pool of Princesses
Germany, 2007, 90 min
In German with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Directed By: Bettina Blümner
Writer: Bettina Blümner
Producer: Peter Schwartzkopff, Katja Siegel
Cinematographer: Mathias Schöningh
Editor: Inge Schneider
Sitting by a public pool in Berlin, three 15-year-old girls check out boys and discuss the day's activities. Friends since kindergarten, Klara, Mina, and Tanutscha seem to know everything and nothing about life, confident in their growth out of childhood but completely vulnerable and uncertain in the face of the future. Except, of course, for the ardent conclusion that they would never aspire to be "squares who buy organic food."
With the intimacy of a narrative film, Pool of Princesses focuses an unobtrusive camera on the teenagers' daily lives that successfully strips away any self-conscious behavior, providing a remarkable vantage point to view them at work, home, school, and play. The precisely chosen, naturalistic moments amount to a rich snapshot of growing up in Berlin's multicultural district of Kreuzberg, where the girls proudly brag about the superiority of the immigrant men they date. Whether it is a lecture from Klara's mother about the two house rules (don't do heroin, don't get pregnant) or Mina's na´vetÚ in holding onto a summer love with all her being, the inexorable process of growing up is deeply felt in BlŘmner's film, though it never descends into sentimental triviality. Although many of the girls' experiences are specific to contemporary Berlin, the film also reminds us that, at some point, we all had to make the complicated transition into the adult world.