Review: Adam und Evelyn

What: Adam und Evelyn
Where: German Film Festival at the Palace Cinemas
When: Adam und Evelyn screening between 1st-8th June, German Film Festival running through to 12th June

Anne Kanis and Florian Teichtmeister

Set against the demise of the East Germany in the late 1980s, Adam und Evelyn follows a couple. Adam (Florian Teichtmeister) is an awkward yet somewhat charming tailor and Evelyn (Anne Kanis) is a waitress. When Evelyn finds that Adam is cheating on her with his clients, she leaves him and their small hometown behind for a summer holiday with friends. Adam follows. The film explores both their relationships against the backdrop of the disintegration of the GDR regime.

Adam und Evelyn is slow off the mark. The storyline seems vague and the actors stilted. None of the characters are particularly likeable, and minor characters enter and exit without proper explanation. The film drags as it explores what was such an explosive and exciting chapter in history.

All the same, the cinematography is beautiful. The scenes of the German and Hungarian countryside are stunning. Adam’s garden is overgrown with plants and flowers. Eelyn and her friends Mona and Michael lounge under a tree before swimming in a Hungarian lake that is vast like the sea. The final scene is a conversation between Adam and Evelyn. They stand, back to the camera, looking out of the window of their new, empty apartment. Bizarre as it is to have such a long conversation without seeing the characters move or interact, this scene is quite lovely.

Perhaps the slow pace of the film is reflective of the effect of this turmoil on real East Germans. Or perhaps it reflects the slow pace of change under a regime like that of the GDR, I don’t know. However, the result is a movie that takes a long time to warm up and leaves me with more questions than anything.

2 out of 5 stars

— Natalie Carfora

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