Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Vivere, at the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) tells a complex story of friendship, love, family, and personality, involving three women from Germany, each confronting a crisis in her life, who find themselves traveling to Rotterdam on Christmas Eve.
Egbert-Jan Weeber at HIFF
The women are very well played by Hannelore Elsner, Esther Zimmering, and Kim Schnitzer. Egbert-Jan Weeber, one of the Rising Stars at this year's HIFF festival, does a fine job in a small but important role.
The structure of the film, directed by Angelina Maccarone, is interesting and unusual. It tells the story in pieces. Each piece centers on a particular woman’s point of view. The first time a segment of the story is told, the film seems random, disconnected and mysterious. Then it retells that piece of the story from another character's point of view. And again. With each retelling the story becomes clearer; previously mysterious comings and goings, disappearances, and seemingly unmotivated behavior become clear and understandable. Unlike most films of this genre (at least since L'Avventura), which thrive on the strangeness, unpredictability, and incomprehensibility of human behavior, Vivere is telling us (through its structure, not its story) that mysteries have an explanation; we just need more information to make the seemingly inexplicable comprehensible.