Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers


           Familiar Strangers
               Genre: Drama
               Teenagers, time travel, family relationships, childhood, comic

back into the past

  To make friends with Sam’s new film Gabarskis familiar strangers, requires a little patience and willingness to engage in slow motion next to a story: The viewer accompanies a 40-year-old cartoonist, Thomas (Pascal Greggory), on a journey of his beautiful Parisian apartment to a comic-book-fair somewhere in the outskirts of France. Once there, it is clear that the manga has come in the years designers is in a deep crisis, which has more than just aesthetic consequences. The last success was long ago, there is no rousing ideas, in art as meaningful ideals, and so might the audience hardly believe in a coincidence, as happened on the way back, a fateful error: The uninspired still looking Thomas rises the evening after the comic book fair, unfortunately in the wrong train, in the next village wants the tracks change, but in order to catch even the right connection to Paris noticed then, however, that the station, where he is now, yes indeed! the station of his hometown, is the village of his childhood. Only now, after 15 long minutes, the central development of the film that slowly reveals the concept of becoming better and better script.

It is about Thomas’ biography, about his childhood, with a brilliant Gabarski idea in the present brings: Thomas is confronted by the error at the station with its past. He wanders through his village, meets an old friend, exchange memories, and finally visited the grave of his mother. There, drawn into the circle of reminiscences, he falls into a trance, in a confused impotence. And when he wakes up on his young hands, his slightly old-fashioned-looking shoes and watches on the bike of his youth, he realizes that he is in the body of a child: his own body. Thomas is 14 again, only his mind and the behavior of a father are left to him. So the man gets torn internally as 14-Järhiger (Léo Legrand) the chance to experience that moment again, which was so symptomatic of his entire existence: the days when his father said on his birthday to try to get only bread, and then never came home, which he slips his wife (Anna Maria Lara in the role of the frustrated housewife) to despair and finally fell to his death.

Sven Garbarski does not explain much, he wants to control with no causal analysis, the logical function of the audience, as in his last film Irina Palm, where he confronts distances not judgmental, but observing the curiosities of everyday life. The audience is rather in the perspective hineinversetzt Thomas’, looks through the eyes of the stakeholders to the mysterious family that reveals itself more and more as the result of a historic upheaval. Thomas’ father (Jonathan Zaccai) has fought for the Resistance, and after the war, when the interior of France began to sort itself back on, it took the decision to Clara (Anna Maria Lara) to take wife – not for love, but from responsibility for a fallen comrade, best friend, whose death made him the executor of his will and realisers, his life ended too soon. Whether it be the reason that Thomas’ father 15 years later, the family turns back, disappears, to begin a new life?

If the old Thomas knows’ about the outcome of that melancholy birthday, which separated him from his father, he can not do anything else than just to win a new relation to the loss, a ratio that shows him that each individual’s fate is left alone: Thomas will not change his father, can not reverse what happened. Rather, he feels after his trip finally able to do in the here and now, reflect on parallels, carried away on behavior patterns that connect him with his father, surprisingly more than one. So the journey into the past, a journey through one’s consciousness, while the knowledge comes to light that the failure of the father in the injured son can continue. This admission opens up new artistic energy: Thomas draws a comic book, comic book, the film is based on the familiar strangers (it was drawn by Jiro Taniguchi and is shown as a mise en abyme as picture in picture to the end). And then the question “Why?” a metaphor for the behavior towards the family, children, and perhaps more importantly, his own life.

(Tomasz Kurianowicz)

Title: Familiar Strangers Original Title: Quarter lointain Country of production: Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg Year of Production: 2010 Rental: X-Transportation

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