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A Voluntary Year
Original title:
Das freiwillige Jahr
Slovenian title:
Leto svobode
Section:
KINGS & QUEENS
Country, year:
Germany, 2019
Length:
86
Directed by:
Ulrich Köhler, Henner Winckler
Screenplay:
Ulrich Köhler, Henner Winckler
Cinematography:
Patrick Orth
Music:
/
Subtitles:
English, slovenian
Language:
German
Voting code:
U
Cast:
Maj-Britt Klenke (Jette), Sebastian Rudolph (Urs), Thomas Schubert (Mario), Stefan Stern (Ursov brat Falk)
Awards:
Locarno 2019

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Description:
This family drama tells the story of a father who falls victim to his own unrealised dreams and refuses to accept the fact that he no longer has control of his adolescent daughter's life.
Urs has a busy life, bringing up his teenage daughter Jette alone, taking care of his alcoholic brother and helping out in the nearby refugee home. He urges Jette to take a year off before university and do social work in South America: Urs is determined that she should have a free, independent life rather than being stuck in the provinces like him. But Jette is torn between living up to her father's expectations and being with her boyfriend Mario. At the last moment, instead of boarding the plane for Costa Rica she sneaks back and hides in a caravan belonging to Mario's parents at the outskirts of the village. Urs is taught a painful lesson about the limits of his tolerance and ultimately realises that he can't force other people to be happy.

"From my point of view, when we were editing and writing, it was easier to do that together because you had time, so you could compare different versions. Mostly, we agreed because it was very clear which edit, or which dialogue was better. The difficult phase is during the shoot because there is a lot of time pressure. If you have two differing opinions, there's no time to try both out, and you have to make a decision." (Henner Winckler)