Blessed Events (Glückliche Fügung)

Again the film centres on a decidedly ordinary young woman – here, thirtysomething single Simone – caught up in an extraordinary situation: finding she’s pregnant after an anonymous (and evidently rare) one-night stand, she visits the hospital and unexpectedly bumps into the man in question. Still more surprisingly, this young doctor reveals he’d hoped to see her again and, told of the pregnancy, confesses he wouldn’t mind their becoming a couple. Nor would Simone – but is it all too good to be true? Few films have explored the psychological effects of pregnancy, planned or otherwise, and as with Gisela’s account of an extramarital affair, Stever steps into the fray bravely but wisely; steering clear of moral commentary, she allows actions to speak for themselves, while colour, lighting, landscape and architecture are deployed to evoke Simone’s swings between enchantment and alienation, desire and despair. Kuhl’s understated but eloquent lead performance fits the bill perfectly.

Nothing Bad Can Happen

The young Tore seeks a new life in Hamburg among the religious group called The Jeus Freaks. When he by accident meets a family and helps them to repair their car, he believes that a heavenly wonder has helped him. He starts a friendship with the father of the family, Benno, and soon he moves in with them at their garden plot, not knowing the cruelty there is to come. True to his religious belief Tore stays with them although the increasing violence by Benno is torturing him…