German Film Club
Wednesday, 5 April 2017, 07.00 pm
Auditorium (level 2), Kedai Kebun Forum
Jl. Tirtodipuran 3, Yogyakarta
Open for public and free
Director: Sylke Enders, colour, 102 min., 2013/14
Cast: Julia Jendroßek, Daniel Sträßer, Ramona Kunze-Libnow, Uwe Preuss, Jani Volanen, Kyra Sophia Kahre, Andrea Hintermaier, Yung Ngo
Cindy is about to take her A-Levels. She lives in Berlin with her parents, right next to Schönefeld airport, where the building of the new terminal has been lagging behind for years. The girl’s life is also a tedious construction site. Cindy is unpopular because she’s overweight. Her lack of self-confidence means she can hardly fend off her classmates who bully her or the practical jokes of her cynical friend Danny. Cindy then meets a Finnish structural engineer and a Korean IT specialist. Her life and personality start to change.
Desolate wasteland: that’s what Berlin’s new major airport Schönefeld looks like at first. Cindy and her friend Danny play at the fence with their dolls – an ideal image which is repeated at the end of the film as an image of horror. Two, at best, moderately popular youth shave banded together, but never really find anything in their relationship. Danny convinces Cindy that her parents would probably have preferred to have had the janitor’s child instead of her, because it was still born. And the only reason she was given her small dog was so it could distract others from her own ugliness. Danny has had enough of everything. He voluntarily joins the army and is sent to Afghanistan. When he returns, he is even more cynical than before. Cindy’s father calls his overweight daughter “Candy Bomber” (what people used to call the cargo planes with which the US flew in supplies for West Berliners). The construction of the new airport is many years overdue, as is the opening of a hotel where Cindy was planning to train as a hotel manager after her A-Levels. And no wit’s not even certain that she will pass her A-Levels. Her father especially puts her down whenever he can. At school, she is an easy target for the other girls.
Sylke Enders came up with the idea of SCHÖNEFELD BOULEVARD while at that location: “Numerous airport motels, bus stops and a few young people standing around. In my inner eye I immediately saw a full-figured girl waiting at one of those bus stops with her dog. I then combined this image with the many guests staying at the motels. Like the girl, they are often stuck in a rut of dependencies, bored and lonely. What would happen if those two worlds met and this chance acquaintance changed both parties? And what if this young woman was able to experience something different and do things that others wouldn’t allow her to do?”
Cindy finally takes the initiative. She brings a foreigner’s lost mobile to his hotel room – the Finnish engineer doesn’t quite know how it comes about, but at some point, they both intimately embrace on the sofa. In a close-up shot, a blossom opens up in slow motion. Cindy then chats up Park, the Korean IT specialist, and gets herself a date for the school prom.
SCHÖNEFELD BOULEVARD tells of the pains taking and difficult acquisition of self-confidence that is essential for survival, and the ultimate loss of it. Danny, who has now returned from Afghanistan, can’t cope with Cindy’s development – he falls deeper and deeper into alcohol and drug addiction and dies during a frenzied carride. Cindy is distraught, because she feels responsible for his death. In the final scene, she is walking down a road, parallel to the airport runway. She walks straight down the centre line, just like Charlie Chaplin in MODERN TIMES. But he had Paulette Goddard as his film partner. Cindy is all alone. However, in the background, a plane takes off for the first time in the film – a sign that a new era has begun.
Sylke Enders was born in Brandenburg in 1965. She studied sociology between 1983 and 1987. She began studying directing in 1996 at the Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb – German Film and Television Academy), and completed her studies in 2002.
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