Helena, 30, a single mother with an 11-year-old daughter, is a moderately successful actress who earns a living as an escort in the sex industry. Her relationship with her own mother, a singing teacher, is tense, and she’s also increasingly annoyed with her job. Meeting David offers her an opportunity.
Snapshots from the brittle contemporary biography of a working woman, part 2: Helena at work, decked out in latex, leather and fishnet stockings, batting her eyelashes and brandishing sex toys. Male clients with various sexual predilections. A casting call where she’s supposed to play an ‘uncontrollably horny’ woman. A post-feminist lecture on the body, getting old and cosmetic surgery. And again and again, sex as a performance, relationships of a purely economic status. Body discourses. The mother stands for a time in which ‘female self-actualisation’ meant something very different. The little daughter recites a poem by Heinrich Heine. Helena finally comes up with a new sexual service; when the hunt is over, the women have been brought down and the men crow in triumph, there she stands, beautiful, severe and implacable. Like an absolute ruler. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]