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Foreign Film - Germany - Sonja

Sabrina Kruschwitz, Julia Kaufmann
Written and directed by Kirsi Liimatainen
German with English subtitles
Germany 2006
Picture This! Home Video 2008
75 minutes

Many of the gay / lesbian films I have seen recently have a coming of age story at the center. I am not sure if this or the fact they are on the short side means anything in particular. It is just one of the many things I started wondering about while watching Sonja but the only one relevant to this German film DVD.

Sonja is the story of a 15 year old girl who is in love with her best friend and cannot quite tell her. Like any teenager, she has her mood swings, problems getting along with her divorced parents, especially her mother, and a boyfriend her mother approves of but that Sonja doesn't particularly like. Julia, the best friend, seems to feel the same and to sometimes be seducing her.

Unfortunately, aside from the fact Sonja is in love with another girl, there is not much to this story. This is a weakness common to quite a few gay / lesbian films. Take away the same sex aspect and there is not much left. The movie becomes as interesting as if the filmmaker had decided to make a movie about the love between two people who will only wear bowling shoes. This is particularly evident here.

Writer director Kirsi Liimatainen almost seems to know she doesn't have much of a story. At the end of just about every dramatic peak Sonja asks to be let out of the car and is shown walking towards home across a vast field. Okay, and?

There is also the fact while she is visiting her father, he and his new wife encourage Sonja to spend time with the neighbor, a man in his forties.  This is what is really disturbing for this viewer in this German film.

In the end this is just a banal little movie.

Come to think of it, a movie about the love between to fans of bowling shoes would be interesting....

My German is nonexistent but I get the odd impression that the English subtitles are off a bit in a couple of occasions.

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