Alles Ist Gut (All Good) (Eva Trobisch, 2018)
I’m Okay, Fine, Super, Thanks, Why Do You Ask? Why Do Keep Asking?
“Anybody who smiles all the time is hiding something, even if it is only sore feet.” —Mike Royko.
Nothing is good in All Good, even though Janne (Aenne Schwarz) smiles—even laughs—and says that everything’s alright and super. Janne decides to keep quiet and to pretend that nothing happened after she’s raped by her boss’s brother-in-law, not because she refuses to take the victim role or because she's in a state of shock, but because she thinks that’s the best option. It's not easy for Janne to share such horrible experience when the only confidants she has are a hysterical mother and a douchebag boyfriend. When society still doesn’t know how to treat this kind of victims, it comes as no surprise that Janne doesn’t know what to do either—she seems more concerned about how this traumatic event might interfere with her new job and moving to the countryside than the trauma itself. Her behaviour might come as baffling, but it is not so difficult to understand as it is damaging.
Eva Trobisch directs her feature film debut with confidence and an acerbic unsentimental style, just like a proper disciple of the Berlin School. Neither Trobisch nor actress Aenne Schwarz, who delivers a revelatory performance, judge or condemn Janne’s decisions as they both show her instead as a strong sympathetic woman who’s overwhelmed by trauma. Silence will eventually take a toll on Janne, but everyone knows it’s not her fault.
The resolution verges into dangerous territory as Janne finally breaks down when she gets pregnant, decides to get an abortion and her boyfriend dumps her. It seems, even though it is clear those are not Trobisch’s intentions, that Janne is traumatised by the consequences of being raped than the actual rape. Had she not been expecting a child, would she have gone on with her life like nothing ever happened?
The scene at the theatre is not as memorable as the one with Nicole Kidman in Birth, because, well, nothing in this life is, but it does have enough awkwardness to make it the movie’s standout scene.
—Do you want children?
—If your older ones don’t talk to you anymore, you make new ones.
The Speak Up Movement.
Good companion pieces
The Light of the Moon (2017), by Jessica M. Thompson, takes a more by-the-numbers approach, but it’s still a sensitive drama about a victim of sexual assault, led by a commendable performance by Stephanie Beatriz.
Short film I’m Fine Thanks by Eamonn O’Neill is not about rape but about the terrible outcomes of being quiet. Watch.
Give Aenne Schwarz all the awards, please. Thanks.
Why am I watching this?
Great review everywhere.
Berlin School alumnus.
For Your Consideration
Best Movie - Best Director: Eva Trobisch - Best Actress: Aenne Schwarz - Best Supporting Actor: Tilo Nest - Best Screenplay: Eva Trobisch