My Sister’s Good Fortune
(Das Glück meiner Schwester)

Screening on Film
Directed by Angela Schanelec.
With Anna Bolk, Katharina Linder, Michael Maertens.
Germany, 1995, 35mm, color, 84 min.
German with English subtitles.

Unsentimental, not terribly romantic, without a hint of moralism, and avoiding the sort of easy dichotomies (novelty versus stability, freedom versus compromise) that often dictate the portrayal of such relationships, My Sister’s Good Fortune develops as an unusual variation on the love triangle. What makes a man love two different women? It is their similarity or their divergence? While the characters may venture answers to these questions, we shouldn’t take them as absolute truths—for My Sister’s Good Fortune confronts us, precisely, with the mysteries of identity, desire and perception. Even after decisions have been taken, My Sister’s Good Fortune leaves us with a sense of indecisiveness and suspension that permeates everything, with a feeling of heaviness and exhaustion that bleeds into every frame. Characters repeat patterns, walk in circles, unable to untether themselves from each other. Life seems still, frozen, shaken only by sudden news from the outside, moving forward only in the ellipses. – Christina Álvarez López

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