By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Set in Berlin in 1943, this fact-based German film with English subtitles concerns the love affair between two women: a Jew passing as a gentile while working for the underground and a German housewife honored by the Third Reich as an exemplar of Nazi motherhood. Outgoing, direct, supremely self-confident, the Jewish-born Felice (Maria Schrader) takes all sorts of risks, beginning with her job at a Nazi newspaper. Much of her time is spent with other lesbian friends, several of them Jewish and passing themselves off just as she is. One evening she meets Lilly Wust (Juliane Kohler), the wife of a German officer who is fighting at the front. A conventional woman who leads the life expected of her, Lilly married a man she didn't love and now has four young sons. Despite her conventionality, Lilly longs for passion in her life and seeks comfort in the arms of a succession of worthless men. When Felice flirts with her, she is fascinated. The two women begin an intense affair that puts them both at great risk. Writer/director Max Färberböck and co-writer Rona Munro have pulled off the difficult feat of making us accept what, on the surface, seems to be an odd pairing: the clever, sophisticated Felice and the beautiful but shallow Lilly.
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