Westwind ( Retró szerelem) (Zwillinge) (2011)
Director: Robert Thalheim.
Starring: Friederike Becht (Doreen), Luise Heyer (Isabel), Franz Dinda (Arne), Volker Bruch (Nico), Hans-Uwe Bauer (Balisch), Hannes Wegener (Klaus), Albrecht Schuch (Ronny), Golo Euler, Ole Fischer.
1988, a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 17-year-old twins Doreen and Isabel face a conflict when Doreen falls for Arne; their lives are about to be turned upside down (German with English subtitles)
Two sisters, Doreen and Isabel, are on a train. They pass Lake Balaton [lake in eastern Hungary; the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region's foremost tourist destinations; the Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake]. They miss their bus connection, so they start walking. Two guys from west Germany driving in a Volkswagen stop to pick them up. The girls take the ride. They will be going with Arne and Nico. They tell the driver to head for Lake Balaton. They are going to a Pioneer camp. Now the guys know they are from East Germany. They are from the town of Döbeln [in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, part of the Mittelsachsen district, on both banks of the river Freiberger Mulde]. Southeast of Leipzig. The guys say they are from Hamburg.
The girls say that it's their holiday. It's a reward. They are the rowing district champions. Then they start talking about music. The guys ask them if they can get today's music and they say yes, but only at Westwind.
The guys drops the girls off at the camp. The guys are a little intrigued by an original socialist cadre training facility. They say they could take the girls somewhere first, but the girls turn them down.
The girls get to live in a big tent with a bunkbed. At night the girls go for a swim.
In the morning at breakfast, the girls talk to their coach. He asks them if "Uncle Klausi" showed them around the place? Yes. The girls are to meet in the afternoon at the boat house.
The girls go for a jog. Later they go to the boat house. The coach show them their boat. The girls but it in the water and off they go. Later they play volley ball. Arne and Nico show up with two friends and come over to see the twin girls. The girls ask them to please leave. The guys asks if they can play volley ball and Uncle Klausi and another guy say yes. The coach finds out about the four outsiders and he's mad at the girls. He wants to know where they met the two West Germans. They say they gave them a ride to the camp. Coach is shocked that they had contact with two West Germans. He says" "You can't maintain West contacts . . . " This could ruin the girls' futures.
The girls see the boys once again at at fence. The guys want to take them to a dance at the Metropol for getting them in trouble. The girls are willing
At night the girls climb over the fence. They walk to the Metropol. Arne and Nico meet the girls at the Metropol. The guys buy them drinks. Isabel notices that Arne and her sister seem to be really hitting it off well. She again notices this when they all go down to the lake. Isabel interrupts Arne and Doreen.
The guys drop the girls at the fence. The next day Arne and Doreen meet in the woods. The coach asks Isabel where's Doreen? Isabel says she's looking for a pole for the flag out in the woods. When Isabel sees Doreen again, she tells her that she had to cover for her sister with the coach.
Doreen has arranged another meeting with the guys. Isabel says: "Dorle, those boys are too dangerous for us." The girls go to a hotel swimming pool. There they meet up with the guys, who take a liking to their bathing suites. They arrange for another meeting with the guys. On this trip Arne and Doreen go for a ride, while Nico takes Isabel to a restaurant. Arne and Doreen make out together, while Nico takes Isabel to his room. They kiss. Later Nico drops Isabel off at the fence. Even later, Arne drops Doreen at the fence. Isabel tells her sister that this is twice that she has let her down. She walks away from Doreen.
Doreen apologizes to Isabel and says this was the last time. Isabel says: "Good." But later Doreen sneaks over to the fence. Arne gives her a portable cassette player. They kiss through a hole in the fence. Doreen hides the cassette player underneath her bedding. At night, she leaves early from the group and listens to the cassette in her bed.
Arne wants to sneak the girls into West Germany, but Doreen says no. Arne says they only have three days left. Arne leaves.
The coach and Isabel yell at Doreen for not rowing in time together with her sister. The coach says that they won't have a chance in Berlin. Isabel asks what's wrong? Doreen says: "What do you think? I'm in love."
In the middle of the night, Doreen says she's going to go see Arne. Isabel tries to stop her, but Doreen pulls away from her. Doreen says she'll be back in three hours.
Isabel listens to the cassette player and is disgusted at what she hears. She takes a liquor bottle with her and walks along the lake. She talks to one of the guys who can't sleep either. Then she goes over the fence and walks up and down the sidewalk. Doreen gets dressed and leaves.
Probably a bit drunk, Isabel goes to breakfast with the cassette player and gets in trouble with the coach. He asks her where did she get the cassette player? She says he will have to ask her sister. So the coach asks where is her sister? Isabel says: "How would I know?" The coach is really mad now and demands to know where her sister is. Doreen arrives and says she's right here. Coach takes the girls to his office and tells them he has to send them back home. And Doreen won't be leaving the camp again.
Isabel asks Doreen if she could please go back to normal? Doreen walks away from her. Later at the lake Doreen dries Isabel off with her towel. Doreen says Arne wanted to take both sisters with him to West Germany. For the Neptune Festival, the girls built a float so they say: if the float works, they will stay. If the float sinks, they will go with Arne. The float sinks.
The sisters pack their bags. Thye have dinner and the listen to music around the camp fire. One of the guys tells Isabel that their float would have worked, but Klaus deliberately rigged it to sink.
The girls go over the fence. They go to Arne's place. Arne says that Nico and he will take the car to the border. Then they will drive to the next border. The girls will go into hiding just before the border. They will take them across, then they will get Isabel and leave across the other border.
Arne drives with Isabel in the back seat and Doreen in back of the back seats. They stop the car. Now Isabel gets in back of the back seats.
The coach listens to Arne's cassette tape.
Isabel it too claustrophobic to stay in the back. Isabel says that she will stay at the hotel room waiting for their telephone call. Doreen will go with Arne. The girls hug and then go their separate ways. Isabel watches as the two cars with four boys and one Doreen in Arne's car.
The caravan reaches the border.
Now the coach reports that the two sisters missing from the Pioneer camp. The coach, however, gives a false description of the car so the young people can get away.
Isabel gets a phone call in Arne's former room. She picks it up and her sister says they are safe. Isabel reacts with a mixture of smiles, laughs and tears. We next see Isabel hitchhiking along the road.
"One year later the wall came down."
Nice love story with plenty of obstacles in the way for the loving couple. They took their chances regardless of the hazards, the possible consequences and their fears. The film shows many of the lost freedoms the people in East Germany had to put up with and the relative freedom of the people in West Germany.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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