To Faro  {Mein Freund Aus Faro}
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To Faro
Mein Freund Aus Faro

Germany, 2008, 87 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Lesbian, Transgender, Youth
Program: World Cinema
Language: German

DIRECTOR: Nana Neul

Mel, a gender-variant factory worker, is ready to leave small-town Germany and finally see the world with brother Knut. When the plan goes awry, Mel’s path leads to two hitchhikers, Jenny and Bianca, who believe Mel to be a handsome Portuguese man Miguel — sensitive but studly. Embracing the mutual attraction with spirited Jenny, Mel seizes the opportunity for reinvention, even studying language tapes and Iberian poetry to maintain the subterfuge.

When Mel’s family increases the pressure to be more stereotypically feminine and start dating, Mel pretends a co-worker from Faro is a boyfriend. This awkward self-misrepresentation seems to appease the family just as Mel’s new relationship reaches ecstatic heights. But perhaps the ruse has its purpose: Mel’s is finally able to ruminate about sexuality and gender identity through the complicated world that has been created.

To Faro alternates from an endearing love story to a drama about the social pressures of convention. The romantic leads — Anjorka Strechel as Mel and Lucie Hollmann as Jenny — radiate naivety and earnestness, yearning for each other with genuine wonder. Alternately bewildered, exhilarated and uncertain, they remind us what it means — and what sacrifices we make — to be young and in love.

Text Voting Code: F135


Copresented by

Goethe-Institut of San Francisco



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