Germany, 2010, 91 min
The first “blessed event” in Isabelle Stever’s intriguing film is clear enough: Simone, a depressed woman in her 30s, goes out for a night of listless drinking and dancing on New Years Eve, wakes up in a stranger’s car after a one-night-stand and discovers afterwards that she’s pregnant. The second blessed event is Simone’s chance second meeting with the father, Hannes, a handsome, compassionate nurse who seems delighted with the prospect of fatherhood and plunges into a serious relationship with her. They find a charming home in a rural area, set up housekeeping together, prepare for parenthood—and Simone begins to suspect it’s all too good to be true. As her belly swells and her discomfort and suspicion grow, the questions begin to pile up. Is Hannes a liar with ulterior motives? Is Simone suffering from a combination of raging hormones and bad memories of the ex-boyfriend who appears to be stalking her? Or is she merely a self-destructive person about to sabotage a phenomenal stroke of luck? As Simone, Annika Kuhl delivers a subtle but intense performance that steadily ups the emotional ante, while Stever’s direction reflects its main character’s possibly skewed view of the world with dissonant settings and odd camera angles. Based on a short story by Anke Stelling, who helped write the screenplay, Blessed Events is a fascinating puzzle of a film that captures the overwhelming uncertainty of someone who has come to a crossroads in her life and is terrified of making the wrong decision.
Special support for this program generously provided by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany–San Francisco. US Premiere.