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Young Cinema Competition 2014
Die Menschenliebe Maximilian Haslberger

Jochen is banned from the brothel, Sven pays men and women, both are waiting for love. Sexuality beyond the boundaries of terms like healthy, handicapped, documentary or fiction.

Die Menschenliebe

Documentary Film
99 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jasper Mielke, Martin Backhaus
Maximilian Haslberger
Sebastian Mez
Katharina Fiedler
Martin Backhaus
Maximilian Haslberger
Martin Backhaus, Jochen Jezussek
It happens in the background, quite casually: a woman in a wheelchair, a minor character, smiles and waves. Suddenly her wheelchair takes off and leaves the earth with her. Anyone who notices this must wonder what is still documentary content here. In fact, this film sends out a number of signals that it doesn’t want to draw a categorical line between documentary and fiction. Its deliberate haziness, which continually tests the audience’s perception, corresponds with its refusal to accept the categories of “healthy” and “handicapped”. After all, everybody wants to live sexuality and love equally – and this brings us to the subject. There is Joachim on the one hand, who lives alone, seems completely healthy and yet lives in a grey area between relative independence and patronisation, especially by his sister who dismisses his infatuation with a prostitute as an anomaly. The subjective camera forces us to take Joachim’s perspective, the uncomfortable perspective of a stalker. Sven on the other hand, the protagonist of the second chapter, is physically deformed and wheelchair bound but has a remarkably strong awareness of his needs, which he articulates frankly and satisfies with the help of male and female prostitutes. His longing for love, however, is not fulfilled. What would it take for that to happen? A film that keeps raising questions that only the viewer can answer.

Lars Meyer

Honorary Mention in the Young Cinema Competition 2014