Challenging taboos: “Feuchtgebiete” [2013 Germany]

Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Email this to someone

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Carla Juri in “Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands” (2013).

David Wnendt’s brilliant comedy “Feuchtgebiete” [Eng. Title: Wetlands] is not for the squeamish – it is a frontal attack on our senses, sensibilities, and taboos bound by societal norms. Centred around a young woman coming-to-terms with a childhood trauma, and a subsequent obsession with her bodily fluids (the German title literally translates as ‘moist areas’), the film ceaselessly challenges viewers to confront their preconceived ideas on what we can or should not talk about, of what is ‘acceptable’ behaviour and bad taste.

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Shattering sexual taboos – Carla Juri in “Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands”.

Based on a best-selling novel – rightly, by a female author (Charlotte Roche), “Feuchtgebiete” aims at nothing less than changing our conditioning and attitudes towards the human body and sexuality. The film works because the director, being a male, approaches the novel from an ‘alien’ viewpoint – bemused and fascinated in equal measure with his eighteen year old female protagonist Helen Memel (Carla Juri). We observe her idiosyncrasies, her obsession with everything that her body secretes, and her sexual adventures – all portrayed in a matter-of-fact manner.

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

“Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands” (2013).

The film begins with skateboarding Helen make a pit-stop at a public toilet that even Ewan McGregor’s Renton (Trainspotting) would hesitate to use. Unlike Renton, Helen actually suffers from haemorrhoids, and unlike Renton who reluctantly swims to retrieve his suppository, Helen relishes her battle with the surrounding germs – she after all has a healthy ‘pussy flora’!

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Agony – Carla Juri in “Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands”.

It is during a hurried shave that Helen gets nastily injured, and ends up in hospital requiring surgery (anal fistula, if you really need to know). And it is during her stay that most of her eventful back story is recalled through flashbacks. Reflecting upon her childhood with a neurotic mother and a self-centred father (played by Meret Becker and Axel Milberg respectively), Helen will learn to come to terms with past events, and in the process also discover love through Robin (Christoph Letkowski) – a male nurse in attendance. But she’ll nevertheless want her divorced parents to get back together, and will go to lengths to arrange their crossing of paths…

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Avocado magic – Carla Juri in “Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands”.

This must be one of the grossest films I’d seen in a long time – you could almost ‘smell’ the scenes here – and they’re not always pleasant. But if you stick with it, you’ll discover a warm and loving family drama centred around a young woman with revolting habits but a purity and uplifting exuberance in spirit. Carla Juri is sensational as Helen and she makes us love her character despite her shocking shenanigans. A reviewer elsewhere likened her character to Audrey Tautou’s Amélie, only with the odd habit of sticking her fingers into her crotch – I couldn’t agree more.

.

Carla Juri in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Carla Juri in “Wetlands” (Feuchtgebiete), Germany 2013.

The main cast perform exceptionally well in their respective roles, and the film is supported by some fine cinematography and editing. It also boasts an ingenious selection of music and a soundtrack that’s full of wit and charm, in the process also challenging my hitherto held association of Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube with Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – you’ll know what I mean when you get to watch it. The film is in many ways a welcome attack on our senses and is aimed at an informed male and female audience, it is so obviously Highly Recommended Viewing..!

Amazon.de DVD Link [PAL] | Amazon.de Blu-ray Link

 

The Nudity: Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker, Anna König, Selam Tadese, and others
There are intermittent scenes of sex and nudity – some of them even explicit, featuring male erections and ejaculations. Carla Juri appears nude in several scenes. Marlen Kruse, as Helen’s best friend Corinna, appears topless in one scene along with Carla Juri. Christoph Letkowski (as Robin) briefly appears nude during one of Helen’s masturbatory fantasies. Meret Becker (as Helen’s mother) angrily flashes at a table full of guests when the husband chooses a poor comparison to describe her vagina during childbirth. Anna König plays the prostitute that Helen uses to celebrate her eighteenth birthday – mimicking the custom of fathers ‘initiating’ sons to sex as part of their ‘passage of rites’ for the occasion. Selam Tadese (as Helen’s male colleague from work) also appears nude in a scene when he shaves her vagina.

Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker, Anna König, and others nude in Feuchtgebiete aka Wetlands

Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker, Anna König, and others in
“Feuchtgebiete” aka “Wetlands”.

.

.

Existing Users Log In
 Remember Me  
This entry was posted in Germany and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.