Sickness of Youth
Feature Film, 90 min. GER 2010
By the early light of dawn, paramedics carry the corpse of a young woman out of a villa in Berlin-Dahlem. Her name is Daisy, she was a successful medical student in her eighth semester. The narrative jumps back in time a few days. Daisy’s housemates are throwing a party to celebrate her graduation from medical school. During the party there is a big blow-up. Marie’s long-time boyfriend, Bubi, has chosen to flee from the vision of a bourgeois life at the side of this about-to-be assistant doctor. Bubi leaves the party with a younger student, Irene. Daisy gets a real kick out of seducing the now single Marie into a lesbian affair. In spite of her success at her studies, Daisy is deeply dissatisfied: she vacillates between uppers and downers and changes her sexual partners increasingly often. The boss among the roommates is Freder. He inherited the house and rents out rooms to his fellow med students. He enjoys stirring up the relationships between them and thereby tasting the power he has over them. He claims he could get any woman to prostitute herself and proves this with Lucy, a country girl who cleans the villa for them. When Lucy admits to the assembled housemates that she is going to audition for a job with an escort service, Daisy spontaneously decides to join her. Marie is determined to stop her. She locks Daisy in the bathroom. In protest Daisy overdoses on Dormicum – one of the drugs Freder regularly got for her.
The special quality of this film lies in the authenticity of the young performers. This was achieved through a special process:
Seven students of the graduating acting class at the HFF „Konrad Wolf“ took part in a workshop of improvisation based on the theatre play „Sickness of Youth,“ which was written by Ferdinand Bruckner in the 1920’s. The actors developed scenes and characters rooted in today, engaging their own experiences and qualities of expression. These improvised scenes then served as the basis for the film script. The high quality collaborative work among the actors in this acting class was honored with the Ensemble Award at a conference of acting schools in Zurich in 2009.