"Brother Sister Heart" – Film review: The Narrowness in the Distance

Franz (Sebastian Fräsdorf) comes home drunk again from the village pub. This time the car has landed in the ditch halfway between Engelbach and the local farm, and he has to walk the rest of the way. At home his sister Lilly (Karin Hanczewski) is waiting. She is often awake for a long time, because in her workshop she is working on a model for the cattle barn in need of renovation. However, the money for the common livestock is scarce, the operation just keeps afloat. But when Franz, still very intoxicated by the evening, dancing in the pasture, Lilly can not resist his carelessness. Soon both of them are swaying at dawn, "Sunny" by Marvin Gaye sounds from the off.


"Brother Sister Heart" is the second film by director and author Tom Sommerlatte ("In summer he lives downstairs") and staged as a casual tragicomedy: young German cinema in the form of a modern Western. Through idyllic summery landscapes, Lilly and Franz gallop as if they were cowboys and cowgirls who lived the dream of boundless freedom. Just not in the prairie, but somewhere in Brandenburg.


photo gallery


"Brother Sister Heart":
Once upon a time in Brandenburg


For Franz, life as a rancher seems just right. He takes care of the physical work in the yard, Lilly's finances. She longs for something else, for freedom, lust and love. The mother left years ago, because she too always wanted more than being a farmer's wife; the father, on the other hand, had an accident and became a nursing case. With the parental estate, Franz and Lilly inherit more responsibility and duties than they would like. They arrange themselves in their own way: they sleep in the same bed, cuddle up there in the morning, and he looks at her naturally as he takes a shower. Affair they allow each other – only the love must be gone the next morning, please.


When Lilly meets the charming and sensitive singer Chris (Godehard Giese) during a summer party, the precarious arrangement begins to crumble: Lilly not only lands with Chris in the hayloft, he even stays for breakfast. Because Franz sees a rival in Chris, there is a rift between the siblings. The newly in love couple flees from the yard, while Franz turns free and wants to sell a part of the cattle in revenge.



"Brother Sister Heart"
Germany 2019

Written and Directed by: Tom Sommerlatte

Cast: Sebastian Fräsdorf, Godehard Giese, Karin Hanczewski, Wolfgang Packhouses, Jenny Schily, Justus Carriere
Production: Osiris Media Filmproduktion

Distribution: Kinostar
Length: 105 minutes
FSK: From age 6 years
Start: October 10 2019



However, as her father's condition worsens, Lilly returns quickly, and she and Franz finally have to face up to their hurt feelings and clarify: How can it be possible to live up to family responsibilities? How far can and should one go to preserve his inheritance? What is the price to pay? Can it be the renunciation of one's own happiness?


The Western setting of "Brother Sister Heart" frames these eternal questions in an appealing way – and also provides answers. This happens in atmospheric pictures, to which cameraman Willi Böhm misses a fine late summer glow. In addition, the more the action begins, the mandolin plays briskly.


Last but not least, thanks to the theatrical performances that capture contradictory dynamics in their characters and make them plausible, one constantly participates in the development of the characters. Karin Hanczewski is strong, unyielding and yet fragile; Sebastian Fräsdorf is cynical, melancholic and always has the mischief on his neck.


In the video: The trailer for "Brother Sister Heart"



Leaving the old days of their childhood behind them and venturing something new will be Franz's and Lilly's biggest challenge. Can another departure succeed or has already happened too much? What is a life like? It's about more than our words and our deeds: It's part of a life too, and that miraculously reveals the movie that we love.

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