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    By Dorothea Holloway | August 7, 2013

    Alina Levshin in Combat Girl, courtesy Ascot Elite Filmverleih / Jonas Schmager

    Alina Levshin in Combat Girl, courtesy Ascot Elite Filmverleih / Jonas Schmager

    Kriegerin (Combat Girl)von David Wnendt, sein Spielfilmdebut, das bereits 2012 in die Kinos kam, habe ich erst vor wenigen Tagen am 1. August im ZDF gesehen und war angetan. In KINO 104 (Februar 2013) hat Wolfgang J. Ruf über das Sozialdrama berichtet, das u. a. mit drei Lolasausgezeichnet worden ist.

    Combat Girl (Kriegerin) by the young David Wnendt is an outstanding debut. The 1977 born Wnendt studied at the FAMU in Prague and then at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen »Konrad Wolf« in Potsdam. In 2006 his California Dreams won already a First Prize at the interfilm Berlin short film festival. Now, his first feature film is an exciting, almost breathless excursion in the disturbing reality of so called »no-go-areas« in eastern Germany, where Neo-Nazi gangs dominate the daily life and foreigners are in serious danger.

    The 20-years-old Marisa is in search for her identity. Educated by her militaristic grandfather to be »tough girl« and involved in steady conflicts with her mother, with whom she works at a super market, she is locked in the depressing lower class conditions around her. The only place she feels at home is the local gang, where the youngsters drink, fight and express their hate against foreigners, jews, cops, and everyone who is different. Several unexpected events break the monotony of Marisa’s desparate life. Svenja, a 14-year-old girl starts joining the gang, admiring Marisa as a warrior for the group’s daft ideology. Marisa’s friend is sentenced to prison. She attacks two young immigrants from Afghanistan. But after all she gets slowly in a friendly contact with one of them. She seems to learn that there is an other way of living together – and she tries to help the young Afghan refugee to get to Sweden, where he hopes to find his family.

    But from the film’s very start we know Marisa won’t have a chance to escape her fate. What at first sight looks just as a stupid, noisy and violent mess of asocial behaviour very soon turns out to be a thouroughly researched web of social relationships with a lot of tenseful dramatic interaction.

    Through Marisa’s tragedy which is told without any melodramatic mockery, the film wins a touching metaphoric dimension. The entire film team, the director and writer, the cameraman, the cutter, the composer (who created a neo-nazi rock especially for the film, because the existing Neo-Nazi music shouldn’t be honored) and the actors impress by an intensity which is rare.

    But foremost, Kriegerin is the film of the young actress Alina Levshin, by Ukrainian origin and also graduate of the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen »Konrad Wolf« Potsdam. Her performance as Marisa is a permanent burning power, feverish and energetic, authentic and artistic at the same time, a tour de force which can be found rarely. No wonder that Alina Levshin is collecting important awards, Best Actress at the 35th International Sao Paolo Festival and Best Actress at the Deutscher Filmpreis. – Wolfgang J. Ruf

    Topics: Film Reviews, German Film | Comments Off on Kriegerin

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