Stina Werenfels’s film “Dora oder Die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern” [Eng. Title: Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents] is an unusual drama concerning a young woman growing up with a developmental disorder.
After Dora (Victoria Shulz) turns eighteen, mother Kristin (Jenny Schily) decides to discontinue her daughter’s medication after finding her in better spirits without them. The opening scenes are of Dora enjoying her birthday party among friends and relatives.
Stopping her medication also paves the way for Dora’s sexual awakening. Naturally inquisitive, she becomes increasingly interested in sex and apart from exploring her body, is also keen to experience sex, sometimes leading to awkward situations within the household.
She sets her eyes on a dashing and sporty car driving Peter (Lars Eidinger), and one day follows him into a public toilet to befriend and offer him a fruit as gift. Before she could realise what was happening, Peter takes advantage of Dora and abuses her sexually in the toilet.
But Dora enjoyed that experience and keenly pursues Peter for more such encounters, who willingly obliges despite Kristin objecting to his exploitation of a vulnerable Dora. Kirsten also pleads unsuccessfully with mental health authorities to stop Peter from approaching her daughter. Before long, things become more complicated when Dora becomes pregnant and a question arises over her ability to raise children normally. For Kristin, it couldn’t have come at a worse time when she was hoping to conceive another child of her own..!
It’s not very often that we get to see sexuality among people with disabilities depicted in film, even more so when it comes to those with mental disorder. It could also become a vexing topic when normal actors end up performing characters with disabilities, but to their credit, the director and Ms. Shulz have brought to life a convincing and sympathetic character in Dora. However, I felt the film was overreaching itself when it tried to add additional plot points that perhaps were not really necessary. But Dora does redeem the film, and at least for her soaring spirit, this film is Recommended Viewing..!
The Nudity: Victoria Schulz, Jenny Schily, and others
It is not often than we get to see mentally disabled characters depicted as sexual beings; something of an unspoken taboo in films, and that’s why I think the film’s nude scenes cover new ground. There are at least four scenes in which Victoria Shulz appears nude. Jenny Schily appears nude in one scene shot from a distance. Assorted characters also appear nude during a swingers’ sex session.